HYDERABAD: The creation of Telangana as a separate state was a culmination of the hopes and desires of the people of the region who felt stifled for decades.
They thought that the new state would go all out to address their concerns. But in reality, what has happened? Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who has been conspicuous by his absence from the Secretariat for the better part of the last five years, has felt that the best bet to modernize is to go on expanding Hyderabad till it becomes a sizeable part of Telangana.
This Mr. Rao, (popularly known as KCR) has felt is a good enough allurement to attract investors to the erstwhile city of the Nizams. Thus, contractors have had a free run of Hyderabad since 2014. Many of them are connected with politics as well – thus they have been able to get away with shoddy work and this is evidenced by the extremely poor conditions of roads, which are virtually nonexistent in the city. But contractors are not bothered because they have close links with the babu-neta class, especially in the ruling regime.
It is possible because of the extremely bumpy potholed roads, which every Hyderabadi will testify to, that 26-year-old vet Priyanka Reddy left her two-wheeler at the Shamshabad check post ( in the region of where the international airport is located) and took an auto to go to Gachibowli in the city.
In fact, this had been her daily itinerary, parking her two-wheeler at the check post and go to this city. On her return journey, she would collect the two-wheeler and drive down to her home on the outskirts of Hyderabad.
Her daily parking routine was noted by the four culprits who decided to puncture her two-wheeler in order to detain Priyanka on her return journey. They wanted to use the opportunity to try and show that they were going to help her, but actually whisked her away and raped her.
That’s what they did: and one of the rapists to prevent her from shouting smothered her to death. On finding Priyanka dead, the four accused took the body in the truck to a desolate spot and burnt the body.
Earlier on November 4, Vijaya Reddy, the tehsildar of Abdullapurmet in Greater Hyderabad was set on fire in her own office with petrol thrown on her by a litigant and killed in a gruesome fashion.
Land values in places in Hyderabad have accelerated sharply in recent years leading to huge land disputes. As is commonly known the babu – neta class is active in resolving these disputes and making money in the process. Earlier there were no takers for the land and with their values increasing now, disputes have become commonplace. Vijaya Reddy, in her mid-thirties, fell victim because she refused to help the litigant who wanted the land back after selling it away- informally – many years ago.
It is true to say that there is contractors’ raj in Hyderabad and this is leading to huge problems. Earlier this week a woman standing near a swanky modern flyover died because an over speeding car on the flyover fell off the bridge on to the road.
Why did this happen? By common consent, this is because the flyover in the Hi-Tech city that was opened recently is improperly constructed: so while travelling at a high speed the car tumbled and fell out of it. Other drivers who have used the just opened flyover have also experienced problems in negotiating it.
In another accident two young techies – a boy and a girl were run over by an over speeding BMW coming on the wrong side. The girl survived with major injuries, but the boy died.
“Hyderabad represents such a paradox. On the one hand there are swanky cars and on the other hand, the roads are potholed. On the one hand, there are young techies on the roads, on the other hand, there are louts roaming around. Is anybody listening?” asks Poornima Kishore, a new resident of the city.
By the way, there is studied silence from the chief ministers about these happenings.