Telangana Assembly passes Municipalities Act 2019

Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao who steered the Bill related to the Municipalities Act, also said beginning August 15 this year, Telangana will see “real-time administration”, something that the rest of the country will want to learn from.

Hyderabad: Telangana Legislative Assembly on Friday passed the landmark Telangana Municipalities Act 2019 and four other Bills that turned various ordinances issued by the Government earlier, into laws.

Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao who steered the Bill related to the Municipalities Act, also said beginning August 15 this year, Telangana will see “real-time administration”, something that the rest of the country will want to learn from.

Explaining many of the new Act’s provisions, he said: “Tablets and tonics are no longer enough. Surgery is needed.”

The Act, for instance, places responsibility not just on municipal officials but also elected representatives as well as citizens. “The Government,” the Chief Minister said, “has faith in people,” said referring to the self-certification provision for people to declare their property taxes. But he also issued a stern warning.

The Act, he said, provides for severe penalties to those who misuse the self-certification process. “Self-certification is like the Bhagavadgita. Misuse will result in serious punishment,” he said. “If anyone makes a wrong declaration and get caught during surprise inspections, then they will have to pay a penalty of 25 times of their assessed property tax,” Chandrashekhar Rao said.

He also said anyone building an illegal structure will no longer receive notices but will see straight demolition of such buildings. “There is no question of sparing anyone,” he said.

“The message that breaking law will never be profitable must be sent to all. A scare is needed. Breaking of the law will be a losing proposition,” he said.

He said the government will set up a Centre for Urban Excellence that will train all elected representatives in the State and municipal officials.

Also on the cards, he said, are issuing new house numbers in the State and the number plate will also carry a QR code that will contain information on all the basic information about that particular house.

The new Act, he said, makes it possible to transfer officials and staff working for various municipalities, municipal corporations and urban development authorities in Telangana to anywhere in the State. The restrictive practices of the past that prevented such transfers will be a thing of the past, he added.

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