The state of Telengana has been affected by the continuous rains and the capital city of Hyderabad has been the worst affected. Four columns of Army have been deployed in the city and neighbouring Ranga Reddy district to help in the relief-rescue effort. The army has set up control room in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC). While a 60-member National Disaster Relief Force (NDRF) team has been put on stand-by, both the teams are co-ordinating with each other and monitoring the situation closely. Special control rooms have been set up in different districts to keep an eye on the situations. The Chief Minister of Telengana, K. Chandrasekhar Rao has ordered the officials to carry out rescue and relief operations in the affected districts. The situation is supposed to worsen after the Met department’s alert on five more days of rainfall in the state. The municipal corporation as well as few NGOs’ have been working tirelessly to provide food packets and milks in many of the low-lying areas in the city. The government has asked the IT companies to allow their employees to work from home as rains continued for the third day in the Cyber City. While 60-70 per cent IT employees worked from home on Friday, IT companies were tenterhook in putting in place the business continuity plan (BCP) in case the workforce from Hyderabad disrupts, it can be channelled to Vishakhapatnam and Bangalore to keep the work going. Nasscom sent an advisory to all its members to allow them to work from home till the situation gets normal. Citizens fear to walk out of their homes as the roads are submerged and are filled with potholes and manholes. Since the roads have been damaged, walking more than 7 kilometres have been advised against. The electricity supply had been disrupted in many parts of the state due to tree fall, snapping of electricity cables and tripping of feeders. However, power supply was restored in few of the places after the cuts were reported. Many of the educational institutes in the districts of Khammam, Warangal and Medak have declared holidays following the warnings of more rainfall in the next few days by the Met Department.
US based networking equipment maker CISCO signed an MoU with the Telangana government to accelerate the digital transformation of Hyderabad, reported Livemint. Through this Digital Zone smart city project and a Center of Excellence (CoE), Hyderabad seems to be pacing towards digitalisation.
As per the deal with Telangana, Cisco will open a centre of excellence, set up digital zone smart city project in Hyderabad and a Living Lab on the T-Hub premises to foster the innovation and enable start-ups to build solutions around internet of things (IoT) and cyber security. It will look to implement smart parking, smart lighting, environmental sensors, traffic analytics at key junctions, smart waste management and a control center to monitor and manage the city.
In Karimnagar, Cisco is also planning to help develop remote education in 10 schools and deploy digital solutions to make the experience of visitors to the historic Qutubshahi tomb near Golconda, better.
“Digitisation will be key to how cities, communities and countries maintain global competitiveness, increase GDP growth, foster innovation and create new jobs,” said Dinesh Malkani, president of Cisco India and South Asia, as reported in The Business Standard.
With the latest drunk driving case in Chennai, another innocent life has been lost where a drunk driver in a Mercedes hit an auto driver. This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as drunken driving cases are concerned in Indian cities. There have been a number of cases of road rage across the bigger cities. Be it Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad or Delhi, pedestrians and other drivers are not safe at any time of the day and night.
What lies beneath the surface is the will to appear “cool” or “macho” by openly flouting the norms and knowing that one will get away with it. There is a serious lack of fear of legal punishment among the youth especially. The offence they are charged under is Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), which is a bailable offence. Imprisonment is usually up to three months. This is the cost one pays for taking someone’s life.
Other countries such as Taiwan and China have much stricter laws for driving under the influence of alcohol such as the death penalty or life imprisonment as well as a sentence of up to 18 years. There is some hope now with the Supreme Court Committee on Road Offences ruling on March 22 this year. There will now be stricter implementation of traffic laws for offenders such as revoking the license and higher fines. This is a start, however, there is an entire psyche behind the thousands of people who are willing to their own lives at risk along with those with them inside the vehicles and outside.
Even after being caught, there have been many instances like the young man in Janakpuri in New Delhi, who hit three people in the early hours of June 13 with his car, one of whom succumbed to injuries. He was allegedly drunk and asked the cops to call his father for compensation. This appalling laxity in dealing with drunk drivers and tests being conducted hours after arrest, which could lead to absorption of the substance into the blood stream and thus going undetected, is just unacceptable.
Innocent lives have been lost and families ruined as in the case of the Hyderabad incident where members of three generations of the same family were killed on July 4, is just one in a long list of horrific accidents caused due to drunk driving. Swift action by the Police and the judiciary along with strict penalties for drunk drivers is the need of the hour. What remains to be seen is whether the implementation will be what it is supposed to be and how it affects the mindset of the people.
The Paralympics’ silver medal winner Aditya Mehta was humiliated at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. On his arrival, he was asked by the security personnel to remove his clothes and prosthetic. The medallist was taking his flight for the home in Hyderabad from Delhi. Mehta was totally embarrassed in front of everyone.
Earlier this week, on Sunday he was treated in a similar manner at the Bengaluru airport. He was allowed to board the flight only after he passed all his belongings and the prosthetic through the scanner.He chose the social media to share his experiences.
“…Is this the kind of treatment given to physically-challenged persons? He said in a post addressed to civil aviation minister P Ashok Gajapati Raju.I am usually not perturbed by such behaviour, but the attitude with which I was forced to remove my limb put me down terribly. Airports are supposed to have full body scanners so that we are not forced to remove our prosthesis,’’ said Mehta to Times of India. He urged the airport authorities to be sensitive towards disabled people.
The process of security check was carried out according to the guidelines of the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security of India (BCAS).Further, a Directorate General of Civil Aviation official told The Times of India that “The rules do not exempt the screening of prosthesis so we have no choice but to check them.”
Heavy rains in Hyderabad have not only disrupted the daily life of the city but have also taken a severe toll on human life. The heavy down pouring which started on Wednesday morning has caused 7 deaths in two different occurrences.
A family of 4 died in Ramanthapur where a wall collapsed on their hut and another family of 3 died in Bholakpur when the roof of their house fell on them. Some of the parts that have been badly affected by the rains are Nampally, Adikmet flyover, Bridge, Allagadabavi, Banjara Hills, KCP Junction, Tilak Nagar Railway and Afzal Gunj. B Janardhan Reddy, the Commissioner of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has ordered officers to evacuate the old buildings to prevent any more deaths and injuries and has also urged the people to stay in their homes and not venture out for the next few hours.
In areas like Amberpet, Malkajgiri and Khairatabad, 9.5, 8.3 and 6.5 centimeters of rainfall have been recorded respectively. 5 centimeters of rainfall have been recorded in other parts of Hyderabad. Water logging and heavy traffic created a lot of chaos, however, special trains were running between Hyderabad and Lingampalli for people to commute.
Amidst so many incidents of educational corruption happening throughout the nation, another case of such unethical practice has emerged from the state of Telangana. Recently the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has revealed that the question papers of Engineering, Agriculture and Medical Common Entrance Test 2 (EAMCET 2) were leaked. The entrance exam was conducted on July 9, 2016.
The entrance exam question papers with answers were given to few students for seats in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. On Friday, a suspect in this case who goes by the name of Shaikh Ramesh alias Raheem was arrested in Boduppal. “In the investigation conducted so far, some brokers and sub-brokers belonging to Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, Bengaluru and other places have been identified” told CID, according to DNA.
Two other suspects named Vishnuvardhan and Thirumal Rao have also been arrested in Hyderabad. Sources reveal that the accused men contacted 25 students and took them to a place outside Telangana and provided them with question and answers, before the actual exam. Approximately 1.73 crore of rupees was collected from the students for the leaked question papers.
After CID submitted the report, the government of K Chandrashekhar Rao took the decision of scraping the entrance exam. Talks are going on to conduct EAMCET 3 in the month of August. Meanwhile many other students and parents are protesting in different parts of the state and are demanding the arrest of the students who brought the leaked papers. Also the students and parents are not too keen on government’s decision to conduct the exam again.
Touted as Rohith Vemula part deux, a 25 year old research student in Hyderabad was brutally beaten up by a group of goons mistaking him as a Kashmiri. Amol Singh, the victim was returning to his hostel after protesting against the police atrocities in Kashmir when a group of 20-25 ABVP men attacked him.
“The ABVP members knocked me down and hit me badly. When I ran, they chased me”, said Amol Singh. He further added that they mistook him for Bilal, a former student who was vocal about the rights of Kashmiri Muslims. There were around 50 students in the protest.
The meeting took place to protest the killings of a large number of Kashmiris and the blinding of youth by pellet guns. However, the ABVP thought that it was an unlawful assembly convened for anti-India talks. The University officials alleged that the meeting raised points of separate Kashmir and remembered Burhan Wani of Hizbul Mujahideen, who was killed in an encounter earlier this month.
Zameer Ahmed, a PhD scholar said, ‘ It is a bad idea to organise a meeting discussing Kashmir related issues. If they had asked me, I would say don’t do it.’ However, N. Sushil Kumar, ABVP leader shared that it was Singh and his friends who attacked ABVP students and heckled them.