Congress demands a special relief package for rain victims in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: Congress senior leader and former Chairman of Hyderabad Congress Minorities Department Sameer Waliullah on Tuesday demanded a special relief package for those affected due to heavy rains in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.

Sameer Waliullah, in a media statement, said that several colonies and residential areas got inundated due to heavy rains in the last three weeks. He said several areas, especially those located near Musi River, were submerged fully or partially. Thousands of residents living in ‘kacha’ (temporary) houses suffered damage to the structures. Except for extending a little help to the families who were shifted to relief camps, the Telangana Government did not announce any financial assistance to the other affected people, he said.

The Congress leader said that the State Government should conduct a special drive to assess the rain-related damages in all 150 municipal divisions. He said that the GHMC should also start a helpline to guide people on claiming damages from insurance companies on vehicles and other insured products.

Sameer Waliullah pointed out that hundreds of fruit and vegetable vendors suffered losses to the tune of lakh of rupees due to heavy rains. While many vendors suffered huge damages after their fruits got washed away, fruits and vegetables worth several lakhs were rotted due to continuous rains. Further, he said several other vendors were unable to venture out due to continuous rains. He said that the State Government should count these vendors as rain victims and provide them with some financial assistance.

The Congress leader also expressed concern over the rising number of cases of malaria, dengue and other viral diseases. He said that the GHMC was yet to take anti-larval operations in a majority of areas. He demanded that the GHMC start a daily bulletin to update the people on the number of people affected with malaria, dengue, viral fever, etc., to create awareness among people in taking preventive measures.Sameer Waliullah also said that the GHMC should ideally convene a special general body meeting to discuss the rain-related damages in its jurisdiction and also to explore ways to prevent the possible spread of water-borne diseases in the city. (INN)

TS Govt must boost testing, tracing to handle Covid-19 third wave: Congress

Hyderabad: The Congress party on Thursday demanded that the Telangana Government seriously implement the Test, Trace, and Treatment Strategy to control the third wave of Covid-19 which has already struck the country, including the State.

“Covid-19 cases in Telangana have increased by five times in the last one week. However, the State Government took no additional measures to handle the situation. The testing for Covid-19 has remained low while no efforts are being made to trace the contacts of infected persons,” Hyderabad City Congress Committee (HCCC) Minorities Department Chairman Sameer Waliullah said in a statement on Thursday.

Sameer Waliullah pointed out that the Covid-19 cases have increased by almost five times in the last one week. As against 280 positive cases reported on December 30, a total of 1520 fresh cases were registered on 5th January. While 37,926 samples were tested on 30th December, a total of 42,531 samples were tested on 5th January. The figures clearly show a huge jump in the positivity rate which is also an indication of a third wave of Covid-19 striking Telangana. He pointed out that on 7th December, 2021, Health Minister T. Harish Rao had announced that the Covid tests would be increased to one lakh per day. However, for reasons best known to the Health Minister and other higher authorities, the number of tests hovered around 35,000 per day. He said that the State Government should increase the Covid tests so as to identify all the infected persons and provide them treatment.

The Congress leader said the Telangana Government has been hushing up the real statistics of Covid-19 cases and deaths since beginning. He said instead of presenting a false impression of gaining control over Covid-19 situation by hiding figures, the State Government should adopt a realistic approach. If the cases have increased by five times in the last one week, then the authorities should’ve increased the testing by at least three times. Further, he said less attention was being paid on contact tracing. “Instead of cross-checking whether or not a person is infected, with or without symptoms, the health authorities are apparently expecting the people to self-report after they notice symptoms of Covid-19. Since a majority of infected persons could be asymptomatic, they unknowingly act as super-spreaders of Covid-19,” he feared.

Sameer Waliullah said that the State Government should review its approach in implementing the Covid-19 guidelines. He said that the authorities, especially the police department, appear more focussed on imposing fines from the violators. The police officials are promptly collecting a fine of Rs. 1,000 from people for not wearing a mask and letting them off. Instead of searching for violators to impose fines, the authorities should spot such people and provide a mask at free of cost. He said masks should be kept at all streets and other public places at free of cost which would encourage everyone to wear a mask. Instead of simply putting up a board ‘No entry without mask’, the superstores, malls and other offices should keep a bundle of masks  and santizers at the entrance.”The third wave of Covid-19 is now a reality. Instead of hiding figures, we must confront the situation in a strategic and intelligent manner. We’ve lost many lives in the last two waves of Covid-19 due to negligence. We must not repeat the same mistakes. We must focus on saving each and every life by taking all required measures to minimise the damage,” he said. (INN)

Congress to chalk out a fresh strategy to attract minority communities

Hyderabad: Hyderabad City Congress Committee (HCCC) Minorities Department Chairman Sameer Waliullah on Monday informed that a fresh strategy was being chalked out to re-connect the party with the minority communities in Hyderabad.

“The problems of Muslims, Christians and other minority communities in Telangana have multiplied under the TRS regime. These communities, including Muslims, constitute nearly 15% of the total population in Telangana. They are facing huge discrimination and utter neglect since 2014. We will soon begin the process to compile the list of major problems concerning minorities and devise a strategy to seek their redressal,” Sameer Waliullah said in a media statement.

Sameer Waliullah said that Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President A. Revanth Reddy, while addressing the Eid Milap function held on 31st July has pointed several issues concerning Muslims and other minorities in Telangana, especially Hyderabad. “The problems of minorities are not religion-specific, but region-specific. Housing, employment, education, civic amenities, safety, health, public transportation, drinking water, roads, etc., are among the major issues concerning the minorities of Hyderabad who constitutes nearly 50% of the total population. Since TRS Govt did not address these issues in the last seven years, the Congress party will evolve a strategy to raise these issues in an effective manner so as to seek their resolution from the government,” he said.

The Congress leader said that huge promises were made with the people of Greater Hyderabad in the GHMC elections held in 2016 and 2020. Citing instances, he said lakhs of applications were collected from the poor people by the TRS and MIM parties promising 2BHK houses after 2016 polls. However, all those applications were thrown in the dust bin once the elections were over. Similarly, thousands of people who suffered losses due to heavy rains were promised Rs. 10,000 compensation. Although the amount was too less compared to the actual losses, this amount too was not paid after the elections.

Sameer Waliullah said that almost 80% of nearly 18 lakh jobless youth who had registered themselves with the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) hail from Hyderabad and at least 40% of them belong to Muslim and other minority communities. Lakhs of people lost their jobs and other sources of employment during the lockdown period. Therefore, unemployment is the major issue concerning minorities, he said.He said that the Hyderabad Congress Minorities Dept would prepare a strategy to conduct subject-wise protest meetings to create awareness among the people while building pressure upon the TRS Government to solve those problems. “In his speech at Eid Milap function, TPCC President Revanth Reddy has given a broad direction on how the Congress leaders should approach the people to re-connect them with the Congress party. We will follow his direction and ensure that the party regains its hold among minorities of Telangana, especially in Hyderabad,” he said. (INN)

Over 1 lakh meals distributed among poor during lockdown: Sameer

Hyderabad: Hyderabad Congress Minorities Department Chairman Sameer Waliullah on Tuesday informed that more than one lakh meals have been distributed among poor people in Tolichowki and other areas since the lockdown in Telangana on March 22.

“On the night of March 22 (Janata Curfew) we realised that the attendants of patients at Niloufer and other hospitals had no food throughout the day due to total closure. Since no food outlets were open, we decided to cook as much food as we could on immediate basis.

We prepared about 300 food packets and distributed them to the patients’ attendants late in the night. As the lockdown was extended till March 30, we thought of taking up distribution of food at a large scale from the next day onwards.

Since then we are distributing food among 3,000 people living in slum areas like Hakimpet, Golconda and other localities around Tolichowki,” informed Sameer Waliullah.

The Congress leader said steps were taken to ensure social distancing. Instead of assembling people at one place to collect food, the packets were delivered at people’s doorsteps every day. “Initially, we did everything unplanned and things were taken up randomly.

But after two-three days, we organized everything. Procurement of rice, oil and other items to prepare food was streamlined.

It was ensured that cooking is done in a hygienic condition. Sensible youth were deployed for preparing food packets and the distribution was organized in such a manner that people living in the last corner of a street were supplied the food packets,” he informed.

In addition to the cooked food, Sameer Waliullah said vegetables and ration kits were distributed among thousands of families. “There were some families who had rice, but no money to buy vegetables. Therefore, we supplied them vegetables at frequent intervals.

Similarly, there were some poor families who were hesitant to take food packets everyday or they were located at far off places where it was not possible for us deliver food on all days. Therefore, we supplied them ration kits comprising of rice, oil, chilli, salt and other essential commodities which could help them survive for a week,” he said.

Although the entire expenses for this operation were borne by Sameer Waliullah on individual basis, his work was praised by the entire Congress party.

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & MP Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy visited the place last week and reviewed all the arrangements.

Similarly, former Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir visited Tolichowki and praised Sameer Waliullah. He also asked other Congress leaders to emulate Sameer and serve the poor and needy.

Sameer Waliullah’s work also received appreciation from Congress High Command in Delhi. He got a call from Rahul Gandhi’s office appreciating the service he has been rendering to the poor.

AICC Secretary & ex-MLA Vamshichand Reddy and AICC Spokesperson Dr. Dasoju Sravan also visited Tolichowki today and appreciated the initiave. Vamshichand Reddy had spent several hours witnessing the entire operation and praised the entire team for their dedication and service to the poor in this hour of crisis.

The Congress leader announced that serving of free meal to the poor families would continue till the end of lockdown period on May 3. (INN)

Congress demands TRS Govt to be honest on minority budget

Hyderabad: City Congress Minorities Chairman Sameer Waliullah stated that the budget allocation for Minorities Welfare in the state is proving shallow each year ever since the TRS Government came to power in the State. The same is evident in the recent state budget where allocation was cut short to only Rs 1,518 crore for minorities.

Unfortunately, the budget proposal for Minorities Welfare is not even 1 % of the total state budget and it shows the sincerity of the government in this regard.

He said that TRS had announced to upgrade about 71 Minorities Residential Schools into Junior Colleges this year but the budget allocations do not support this announcement.

He questioned as to how the State government would establish the Junior Colleges without sufficient funds for the minorities welfare. He said that KCR has been hoodwinking the minorities by taking up some superficial measures for the minorities.

Sameer said that there was no separate minister for Minorities in the previous cabinet that threw the minority welfare department to the winds. He further said that the percentage of expenditure from the allocated budget did not even cross 50% during the past few years.

In the financial year 2018-19, state government had allocated Rs 1,973.41 crore of which only Rs 703.24 crore were spent making it only 36.6% of the total allocation.

Similarly, Rs 1367 crore were allocated for the year 2019-20 but most of the allocated budget lapsed due to non-utilization. He asked the Chief Minister as to what was the point in allocation if the funds are not utilized for the Minorities welfare.

He said that budget allocation for minorities was high on announcement and low on delivery or spending. All the schemes pertaining to Minorities would be affected because of the lower allocation of funds coupled with lesser use of the allocated budget in the coming days. He demanded the state government to be genuine in delivering the minorities welfare schemes. (INN)

Congress condemns police cases against anti-CAA protestors

Hyderabad: Hyderabad City Congress Committee (HCCC) Minorities Department Chairman Sameer Waliullah has strongly condemned the city police for booking cases against the people who held peaceful protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

Sameer Waliullah, in a media statement on Monday, said over 60 protesters were detained by the police when they held protest against CAA, NRC and NPR at Tolichowki crossroads. “Although the protest was totally peaceful, police resorted to brutal lathicharge which caused serious injuries to many protestors.

Police has unleashed terror on protestors which included a majority of women. This is nothing but an attempt to suppress the voice of common people and prevent them from exercising their Freedom of Expression,” he said.

The Congress leader also pointed out that similar startegy of lathicharge and detention was used by the police to foil peaceful protest at Mehdipatnam two days ago. “It is strange that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao calls himself secular and pro-minorities while the police under his government brutally assaults minorities, illegally detain them and implicate them in false cases.

While we all know that TRS is a secret ally of BJP since beginning, CM KCR must speak out his stand on implementation of CAA and NRC in Telangana,” he demanded.

Sameer Waliullah said that the Telangana Police gave permission to RSS march and public meeting in Saroornagar. But it denied permission to Congress party to hold Tiranga Yatra against the CAA and NRC on December 28. Hyderabad Police registered more than 25 cases against the organisers of Million March despite giving them permission.

“TRS Government, in connivance with BJP and MIM, is selectively targetting activists and leaders who are opposing CAA and NRC,” he alleged.

He also pointed out that police has been giving permission to BJP to hold rallies and meetings in favour of CAA. “What makes police officials assume that an anti-CAA protest might be violent and pro-CAA protest would be peaceful? There has been no single incident of violence in any of the protest held against the CAA and NRC.

Therefore, senior police officials should change their attitude and start functioning as per rules and not as per their pre-assumptions,” he said.

He demanded that the Chief Minister immediately intervene into the issue and order withdrawal of all cases registered in connection with protests against CAA and NRC. He also demanded that the Chief Minister clarify his stand on CAA, NRC and NPR. (Ends)

Rising food prices have badly hit common man: Congress

Hyderabad: The Congress party on Wednesday expressed serious concern over the rising prices of vegetables and other essential commodities, especially Hyderabad.

Hyderabad City Congress Committee (HCCC) Minorities Department Chairman Sameer Waliullah, in a media statement on Wednesday, said that the prices of vegetables, edible oil and other commodities have increased by more than 50% in the last year.

While the seasonal fluctuation in prices was a common phenomenon in the past, the fall in prices of many commodities was not so deep compared to their inclination. “The prices of many items have touched new records. For instance, no one would’ve ever imagined that one kilogram of onion would cost nearly Rs. 200.

This is insane and it exposes the failure of Telangana Government,” he said.

Sameer Waliullah said that it was the responsibility of the State Government to keep track of demand and supply position of all commodities, including vegetables.

He said that the government should’ve market intelligence or rough estimates of quantity of major vegetables and edible items likely to be supplied in markets in a particular month/season and accordingly decide on importing the product from other States in case of likely shortage.

However, he said instead of being ‘responsive’ and ‘responsible’, State Government was ‘reactionary’ in nature. The official reaction is so late that the damage is already done.

The Congress leader said that the prices of vegetables had gone up during the strike of RTC employees. Small farmers, who sell vegetables, in small quantity, were unable to commute and reach the market from far away village.

They were forced to travel in private vehicles and therefore, they sold their produces at higher prices to recover the transportation cost. However, he said the situation did not change even after the end of RTC strike as State Government increased the fare by 20 paisa per kilometre.

Sameer Waliullah said that the petrol prices in Hyderabad today is Rs. 79.81 per litre. This was Rs. 74.44 per litre on December 11, 2018. Therefore, despite fluctuations it has increased by Rs. 5.37 per litre. Similarly, the diesel prices have increased by Rs. 1.81 per litre from Rs. 70.26 on December 11, 2018 to Rs. 72.07 per litre today.

This has multiplier effect on almost all aspects of life. Consequently, the monthly expenditure of all poor and middle-class families has increased by almost 20-25% compared to last year while their incomes have remained the same. Thousands of people have also lost their jobs and livelihood due to the wrong economic policies of both Central and State Governments.

Therefore, the Congress leader urged the State Government to take immediate measures on war footing basis to bring down the prices of vegetables and other items. He said that the State Government could not wash off its hands by supplying onions at subsidised prices of Rs. 25 per kg.

It must realise that it was not possible for lakhs of families to buy onions even at Rs. 25 per kg. He said that the officials could create awareness among farmers and make arrangements that their produce is not lost/damaged in unseasonal rains.

State Government should make special arrangements for transportation of vegetable and other goods from farm/godowns to market to reduce the prices. He requested the government to explore for permanent solutions instead of giving temporary relief to common people. (INN)

Mosquito menace: Congress leader offers free fogging services

Hyderabad: Hyderabad City Congress Committee (HCCC) Minorities Department Chairman Sameer Waliullah informed that free fogging services would be provided in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad to control the mosquito menace.

Sameer Waliullah, in a media statement on Saturday, said that the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation has failed to control the mosquito menace which consequently resulted in outbreak of Dengue, Malaria and other vector borne diseases.

He said despite alarming rise in cases of Dengue and Malaria, the GHMC did not take up fogging operations across Hyderabad at a large scale. Therefore, he said it has been decided to conduct fogging operations in affected areas at private level.

The Congress leader said that a Helpline Number has been started where people can call if they wish to conduct fogging in their neighbourhood. He said people can call on the Mobile No. 9100109111 and their request would be listed and the fogging machine, along with operators, would be sent. People can also send request through Twitter @sameerwaliullah.

He also informed that anti-larval treatment would also be undertaken at sources of stagnated water like tanks in individual residences. He said medical camps would be organised in different areas to provide free check up and medicines for Dengue and other viral diseases.

Sameer Waliullah said that the health conditions in Hyderabad have turned from bad to worse during this monsoon. The GHMC officials have been making tall claims of having taken up fogging and anti-larval operations in their limits. However, the number of vector-borne diseases reported in public and private hospitals have exposed that the civic authorities were either lying or did not do their job properly.

He said that the GHMC conducted fogging and anti-larval operations in a symbolic manner while neglecting the intensity of the situation. He said that the GHMC should have been in active mode in view of extended monsoon season.

Although there are no rains in the city since a few days, several cases of Dengue, Malaria and other viral diseases are still being reported. Therefore, he said anti-Dengue campaign should be taken up on mission mode and every citizen must be involved to control the menace.

The Congress leader said that the Dengue and other disease reported in the last 3-4 months had a huge impact on common man. While many lives were lost, common people, cumulatively, have spent crores of rupees on diagnosis and treatment in private hospitals.

TRS Government took no measures to regulate pricing in private hospitals and they extorted huge amounts while taking advantage of fear psychosis.

Since the GHMC authorities appeared in no mood to help the people, he said it has been decided to hire fogging machines in private capacity to engage in the battle against Dengue and other vector-borne disease.

Sameer Waliullah has sought the cooperation of all the workers of Congress party and urged them to actively participate in the campaign. (INN)

Congress expresses concern over rising Dengue cases

Hyderabad: Hyderabad City Congress Committee (HCCC) Minorities Department Sameer Waliullah has urged Health Minister Etala Rajender to take necessary steps on war footing basis to prevent further spread of Dengue and other viral diseases in Telangana State, especially in Greater Hyderabad limits.

In a representation given to the Health Minister on Friday, Sameer Waliullah pointed out several lapses that led to the outbreak and spread of Dengue, Malaria and other vector borne diseases.

“The municipal authorities, District Medical & Health Departments and other concerned agencies have miserably failed to take preventive measures to control the spread of Dengue, Malaria and other vector borne diseases,” he said and alleged that nearly 9,000 cases of Dengue alone were reported in Telangana State during this monsoon.

He said several people, including small children and pregnant women were killed due to Dengue. Almost all hospitals, both private and public, are still getting receiving patients suffering from Dengue, Malaria or other viral fevers, he said.

Requesting the Health Minister not to treat the representation as politicisation of health crisis, Sameer said while untimely rains, fluctuating monsoon conditions and other external factors might be responsible for the spurt in number of Dengue cases, the official negligence was primarily responsible for deteriorating conditions. “The municipal and health authorities have failed in their duties to take precautionary measures.

They did not properly map the dengue prone areas nor took up fogging or anti-larval operations. The data of Dengue cases reported in private hospitals was apparently not synced with the official data. There was no coordination or exchange of information between health and municipal departments which delayed fogging and anti-larval operations. Consequently, multiple cases of Dengue cases were reported from specific areas,” he said.

Citing instances, he said four members of a family in Mancherial died of dengue within a span of 15 days. If the authorities would have act on time immediately after reporting of first case, the other three or at least two lives could have been saved. But the authorities remained ignorant till four members of the same family died of same cause, i.e., Dengue.

He said only 30% of patients are visiting public hospitals while rest 70% are going to private hospitals. However, he said a majority of patients and their families were unable to bear the treatment cost in private hospitals.

He said a 39-year old man, Y. Narasimhulu, of Hyderabad, who spent Rs. 1 lakh on his treatment for dengue and went into depression committed suicide due to debts. There are hundreds of cases where people have lost their lives as they were unable to bear treatment cost for dengue.

“Total inaction or insufficient measures to tackle Dengue and other diseases are turning the health crisis into humanitarian crisis. Therefore, this must be addressed on immediate basis,” he said.

Sameer Waliullah said there were many areas in Hyderabad where no fogging or anti-larval operations were conducted. “No awareness drives were conducted at a large scale to motivate people to take precautionary measures. Since no action has been taken any official for the lapses despite occurrence of thousands of cases and several deaths, there is no feeling of accountability among the staff at any level,” he alleged.

The Congress leader urged the Health Minister to conduct a detailed review on the issue by involving officials of not only Medical & Health Department, but also the municipal authorities.

“Several families lost their loved ones due to Dengue and other diseases in the last few weeks. The State Government can prevent further damage by taking measures on war footing basis,” he said and assured that the Congress workers would support the authorities in the battle against deadly Dengue and other diseases. (INN)

KCR Govt playing with careers of innocent school children

Hyderabad: The Congress party on Friday urged the State Government to give clarity on extension of Dussera holidays for school children in view of ongoing strike by RTC employees.

Hyderabad City Congress Committee (HCCC) Minorities Department Chairman Sameer Waliullah, in a media statement, alleged that the extension of Dussera holidays by six days till October 19 has completely upset the Academic Schedule.

Accusing the KCR Govt of playing with the careers of lakhs of innocent school children, he said that lot of rumours were doing rounds with regard to re-opening of schools. With October 20 being Sunday, schools will re-open on October 21. But what will happen if the strike continues on Monday? Will the government extend holidays for more time?

Sameer pointed out that as per the Academic Calendar, the Summative Assessment – SA1 is scheduled to be held from 21st to 26th October. This means that without any classes or preparation in the last one week, students will have to write exams on first day of re-opening of school.

The Congress leader slammed the State Government for giving too many holidays to school children. He said children in Telangana lost 11 academic days when the schools were re-opened on June 12 instead of June 1 due to heat wave.

Since the schools re-opened on June 12, there were 10 Public Holidays, 18 Sundays, 3 Second Saturdays and 23 Dussera holidays. Out of 131 days from re-opening of schools on June 12 to re-opening of schools after extended Dussera vacation on October 21 (Oct 20 is Sunday), there were 54 Holidays while there were just 77 working days.

“As per Academic Calendar, the last day of working of academic year 2019-20 is April 23, 2020. There will be about 14-15 Public Holidays, 6 Second Saturday and 26 Sundays in this period. We will have another 6 days of Sankranti Holidays.

Missionary Schools will have 7 additional holidays for Christmas. This means that there will be another 52-53 Holidays in current academic year. Therefore, there will about 134 days left for the schools, teachers and students to complete their syllabus and write exams, he said.

Sameer Wailullh said there would be more problems for SSC students who are scheduled to complete their syllabus by January 10, 2020 or in the next 82 days including holidays. Other students from Ist to IX class must complete the syllabus by February 29, 2020. “Is it possible? By not finding a solution to RTC strike, TRS Govt is not only playing with the lives of thousands of employees, but also with the lives and careers of lakhs of students and their parents,” he said.

The Congress alleged that Telangana has becoming a Holiday State. Of 317 days in the academic calendar (2019-20), there are 106 holidays. He said Telangana might be the only State in the country where one-third number of days in an academic year are holidays. If we also count the Summer Holidays of 48 days, then the total number of holidays will be about 154 or nearly 42%.

“Is this TRS Govt propose to build Bangaru Telangana by imposing forced holidays on children? People, especially parents, should think about it. He said people must realise how wrong policies of TRS Govt and KCR are ruining the careers of our children.

People of Huzurnagar, who are going to vote on October 21 for bye-elections, must look at their children before going to polling booth and exercise their vote in a judicious manner,” he said adding that the Congress victory in Huzurnagar bye-elections would force TRS Govt to set the State in order.

“They must elect Congress candidate Smt. Uttam Padmavathi if they wish to secure the future of their children,” he said. (INN)