The first picture is a huge hoarding in Hyderabad congratulating the CM, Mr. Kiran Kumar Reddy for his overwhelmingly successful rule for the last one year. The second picture is an advertisement in The Hindu on November 25th, 2011 (and ofcourse this same ad was there in all newspaper) telling us that "A year later, the state is even better..."
One day later, on November 26th, 2011, a news item titled "No power for villages during daytime" was published. Excerpts below:
"The AP Transco and the distribution companies have decided to continue the present 12-hour power cut (6 a.m. to 6 p.m) in rural areas till the middle of next year,..."
"AP Transco CMD Ajay Jain said the cut now would be implemented for two hours in Hyderabad and other such cities; four hours in district headquarters; six hours in municipalities and; eight hours in mandals"
"If any village gets supply for one or two hours during daytime now, it may be by mistake of the field staff."
And ofcourse the main worry is the implementation of Rajiv-internet something.
"Rajiv-Internet-Village facility launched amidst much fanfare at many villages a couple of years ago will be operational only between 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. when the staff will leave the premises after office-hours"
So let's now revisit, "A year later, the state is even better..." now, shall we?
Like mentioned above, what use is a "internet facility" if there is no power? Of what use will be a SHG that thrives on power, if you cannot ensure it electricity? What about the farmer - where will he get the power from? Leave the 12 hours in villages for now... what about all those small industries in mandal headquarters, municipalities etc? They now have to shell out more money for generators? No power for 4-8 hours for the next six months (and for the past 3-4 months). A state that reels under such massive power cuts for more than half year is supposed to be doing "better"?
When was the last time one heard of a 12 hour power-cut in villages, 8 hours in mandals, 6 hours in municipalities, 4 hours in district headquarters, and 2 hours in cities?
And mind you, the 2 hours in cities is a misnomer. The famed Hitech City area of Hyderabad experiences 4 hour power cuts. There are many such areas that experience these long power cuts and we are to believe that the "A year later, the state is even better..." ?
Ok, leave power cuts for now. Let's talk about those in power. In July, there was this sudden spurt of resignations by Telangana MLAs from the region. The list included 11 ministers including the Home Minister of the state. Obviously the resignation of ministers was not accepted (and of most MLAs too) but the ministers refused to go the secretariat. For about two weeks, they didn't clear any files. And then started clearing files from home. "Work from Home" literally got a new meaning in the state. No Cabinet meet was held after 75 days! Do you know the effect of not having a cabinet meet - many decisions get postponed. Do you know the effect of ministers "working from home"? Only important/urgent files get cleared. An earlier blog piece details this "halt in governance" for months. Yet, "A year later, the state is even better..."?
In September, there was a call for general strike in Telangana. For about 40 days, bus services were affected. Schools and colleges were closed. Coal production stopped. Government employees did not turn up for work. Exams were postponed. Lawyers did not work. This government did not do anything to stop this strike. It just passed time - waited for employees to get exhausted and then come back to work. For about 40 days, people suffered and spent more because of the all the above issues, and yet "A year later, the state is even better..."?
Farmers from many districts were on a crop holiday. Lakhs of acres of land was left unsowed. Primarily because of some government policies. Yet, "A year later, the state is even better..."?
600 out of the 1000 odd mandals in the state have already been declared drought-hit, with no concrete plan to help them out yet. Yet, "A year later, the state is even better..."?
Let's now concentrate a bit on some of the schemes in the advertisement above. The Rs.1/kg rice covers 7.5 crore people in the state. The government is proud of the fact that there 7.5 crore out of the 8 crore people in this state are "poor". So poor that it had to reduce the price of rice from a whopping Rs.2/kg to Rs.1/kg. 7.5 crore out of 8 crore are poor people in this state, and yet "A year later, the state is even better..."?
Rajiv Yuvakiranalu is aimed at giving jobs to people in private sector. The government will act as a facilitator. No jobs have been given out yet - the plan is to give appointment letters to 1 lakh people in December. It's a good thing if these students find eligible jobs, but that still does not mean that "A year later, the state is even better..."!
Indira Jala Prabha was launched in October. Plan is to irrigate about 10 lakh hectares and will primarily benefit SC/ST farmers it seems. It was launched only in October and we are yet to see any tangible results plus there is this power cut problem still!
One good intiative though is "Mee Seva". Now one can get his certificates (caste, birth etc) within 15 minutes without having to bribe every petty official on the way. This program is an extension of e-seva and if it clicks, will go a long way in streamlining government services and can qualify to be advertised under "A year later, the state is even better...".
Interest free loans to farmers upto Rs. 1lakh is not beneficial if they are on a holiday and have no electricity. No way does this mean that "A year later, the state is even better..."!
The much tom-tomed "rachchabanda" program is nothing but clearance of old grievances. And the less spoken of extension of reservations, the better it is :)
At best, this Chief Minister is an expert at maintaining some status quo and introducing a scheme here and a scheme there. He commands little respect amongst his ministerial colleagues. The ongoing tiff between him and the PCC chief is never ending and his handling of the above mentioned problems leaves much to be desired.
If anything, the state is reeling under more problems than ever before. The power cuts for long hours is testimony enough that "one year later, the state is still better..." is a farcial statement.
PS1: On a lighter note, how can "A year later, the state is even better..." be true when we have named only one scheme after Rajiv Gandhi and one scheme after Indira Gandhi. This is such a massive failure!
PS2: Ofcourse, "sources" say Kiran Kumar Reddy was Rahul Gandhi's choice.