Republic Day Speech of the Hon'ble Governor of Telangana Dr Tamilisai Soundararajan
At the outset, let me convey my Republic Day greetings to all the people of Telangana State.
Freedom in Mind
Faith in Words
Pride in our Hearts
Memories in our Souls
Let's salute the Nation on Republic Day
At the outset, let me convey my Republic Day greetings to all the people of Telangana State. As citizens, it is a matter of immense pride for all of us as our country has been regarded as one of the greatest democracies in the world.
I am extremely happy to state that I am taking part in Republic Day celebrations as Governor of the state for the first time. Let me tell you all that I will cherish this moment throughout my life. My happiness and joy have been doubled as I am celebrating such an important event amid Telangana people, who are well known for their love and affection and progressive outlook.
Although it is a newly formed State, Telangana has successfully overcome innumerable challenges under the visionary leadership of its Chief Minister Sri K. Chandrasekhar Rao. Within a short period, the State had achieved great successes in several sectors and became a role model for the entire country. The State had also built strong foundations during its course of achievement of the goals in the last six years. The Telangana State is marching ahead on the path of development with lots of positive attitudes and renewed confidence. Besides making transitions within, the State is also standing as a trailblazer and pioneer for bringing in several qualitative changes in the democratic-republic of India. The State is treading on the new paths in Governance by implementing revolutionary administrative reforms.
The success of the program or scheme is achieved only if it reaches the final person for whom it is planned.
To reach out every citizen of Telangana with the slogan "Swarashtramlo Suparipalana" (Good Governance in our own State), the State Government has implemented several administrative reforms. As part of this, the Government had initially constituted several new administrative units. As many as 23 new districts were formed taking the total number of districts in the state to 33. The total number of Revenue Divisions has been increased from 43 to 69, and the total number of mandals has also gone up to 584 mandals from 459 mandals. The government has also increased the total number of municipalities from the existing 68 Municipalities to 142 municipalities. Seven new municipal corporations have been created by the government. With this, the total number of corporations has gone up from the existing 6 to 13. The Tribal Thandas, Adivasi Gudems and remote habitations were made into separate Gram Panchayats. With this, the total number of gram panchayats in Telangana State has been increased from 8,690 to 12,751. With the administrative units becoming small, the administration has come closer to the people of the State. With this, there is no doubt that the effective and efficient implementation of development and welfare schemes in the state became possible.
"Be the change that you wish to see in the world", says Mahatma Gandhi.
The State Government is implementing new enactments as part of second phase of administrative reforms. We have to get rid of corruption and delays which are main stumbling blocks for achieving progress of the state. The topography of villages and towns needs to be transformed. All decisions are to be made with extensive participation of people of the state. Every paisa should be accounted for. The villages and towns of the state should flourish with green cover and there should be clean surroundings in all villages and towns. The Officials, Public representatives and people should know their responsibilities. Nobody should be allowed to be negligent in their duties. The existing Acts were insufficient to make this happen. This is the reason why the State Government had brought in new Acts. The new Panchayat Raj Act and the Municipal Act were made to increase accountability in Village Panchayats and Municipalities and for participation of people. Based on these new Acts, elections to Gram Panchayats and Municipalities were held. Under these new Acts, proper and effective governance is being delivered by the government.
"The village is the cell of the National Body and the cell must be healthy and developed for the National body to be healthy and developed", says Sri Aurobindo.
The State Government is going ahead with proper planning and action plan to make villages in Telangana State as role models for others in the country. "Palle Pragathi" (village progress) program was organized in two phases in villages to make people and other concerned to improve villages with people's participation. People have received well the call given by the government that people in their respective villages should become real heroes of their village. Through Sramadan, people in villages collectively worked and made their villages clean and tidy. They cleaned up drainages and roads, removed debris, unwanted vegetation, dilapidated structures etc. They identified lands for setting up dump yards, cremation and burial grounds. They conducted power week in villages and removed bent and damaged electric poles and hanging electricity lines. They also prepared annual and five-year development plans of their villages, based on revenue, expenditure needs and resources. The traditions to spend funds based on annual and five-year plans have begun. There is a sea change in villages before and after organization of Palle Pragathi programme. I congratulate people of Telangana for realizing the fact that they should develop their villages on their own. I hope the same spirit will continue in future too.
Development of Towns
Urbanization is taking place on fast track mode in Telangana State. About fifty per cent of population lives in urban areas. There is a need to change topography of towns and cities. Towns and cities should be developed according to the plan. The Municipal elections are over now. All newly elected people's representatives should take up the responsibility to change their towns and cities for better. The Government is planning Pattana Pragathi (Town/City progress) program on the lines of Palle Pragathi program. I appeal to people to participate in Pattana Pragathi program and transform their own cities and towns based on making proper plans and implementing the same.
Funds for the Local Bodies
The Telangana Government has successfully overcome the problem of paucity of funds for the development of villages and towns. The State Government came forward to provide matching grants to villages and towns in tune with the grants given by the Central Finance Commission. The Government is releasing Rs.339 crore every month for the development of villages. The State Government is ready to release funds regularly to towns and cities too. People and public representatives should shoulder the responsibility of ensuring proper usage of funds in a planned manner. There is a stipulation that ten per cent of Gram Panchayat Budget and Municipality Budget should be utilized to increase green cover in respective areas. Hence, I request people to plant more saplings in villages and towns, to increase green cover to realize 'Haritha Telangana'.
New Revenue Act
The State Government had already embarked on Comprehensive Revenue Records rectification, updating and purification process to put an end to land related litigations and disputes, once for all. Clarity on Land rights is arrived in respect of about 96 per cent of lands. State Government is also launching an action plan to settle disputes pending in courts and other land related problems. State Government will come up with a New Revenue Act, to bring transparency in transaction of lands, simplify the complicated land related matters. Changes are also being initiated to ensure corrupt-free, delay-free and hassle-free registrations.
In this context, let me share with you that through new Panchayat Raj, Municipalities and Revenue Acts, the State Government is committed to offer good governance, which will be a role model in the entire country.
Telangana State is the frontrunner in the country in looking after welfare of the people by providing various welfare measures. Asara Pensions, Kalyana Lakshmi, six KGs rice, KCR Kits and host of other such welfare programs have not only provided livelihood to the poor people of the state, but also a sense of security and a feeling of self-respect.
'Jai Jawan - Jai Kisan' was the slogan of Sri Lal Bahadur Shastriji, our second Prime Minister. The State Government has initiated several innovative schemes and programs, which are unheard in the country, for the welfare of farmers and to restore past glory of the agriculture sector on which major section of people are dependent. The agriculture policies and schemes of Telangana State have become role models for the country. The Rythu Bandhu and the Rythu Bhima, the unique schemes unveiled by the State Government found place in United Nations list of agriculture programs which are helping development of agri-sector across the world. This is a matter of pride for our state and the farmers. Under Rythu Bandhu Scheme, financial assistance had been increased from Rs.8,000/- per acre per year to Rs.10,000/-. State Government formed Rythu Samanvaya Samithis (Farmers' Coordination Committees) to help and support farmers right from sowing seeds to selling agriculture produce in the market. The Government has decided to activate Farmers' Coordination Committees very soon. The Farmers' Coordination Committees will ensure success of government policies and make agriculture profitable, besides ensuring cooperation among farmers to march forward.
"There are three gems upon this earth; food, water and pleasing words", says Chanakya.
The State Government's flagship programme of construction of Major Irrigation projects aimed at converting one crore acres of land in the State as arable, the works are progressing at a faster pace. Often called a man-made engineering marvel in the World, the Kaleshwaram project has started pumping water from the last year. From this year onwards, every day two TMC of water and from the coming year three TMC of water will be pumped from the project to make Telangana State fertile. I am happy to share with you that these works are going well and on a fast track. Like Kaleshwaram project, works on Palamuru-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme, Devadula, and Sri Seetarama Lift Irrigation Schemes are also being fast tracked. The fruits of these projects will also reach the farmers very soon.
Godavari water to Krishna Basin
When adequate water is not available, farmers in Krishna basin are put to lot of distress. To get over this problem permanently, the State Government is preparing an alternative plan through which water from Godavari River can be diverted to Krishna Basin. The Telangana State, which firmly believes in give and take relationship with its neighbouring States, is ready to cooperate with Andhra Pradesh State about diversion of Godavari water into Krishna basin. By diverting Godavari waters to Krishna Basin, districts like Mahbubnagar, which suffers from large scale migration of people, Nalgonda, which suffers from fluoride problem and Ranga Reddy district, which witnesses famine will get a permanent solution to their irrigation and drinking water problems.
"Little pools of water tend to become stagnant and useless. But if they are joined together to form a big lake the atmosphere is cooled and there is universal benefit", says Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.
The State Government has decided to fill up reservoirs during the monsoon and also fill all the tanks, which were revived and renovated under Mission Kakatiya program. With this, all reservoirs from major to minor in the state would be brimming with water. With this, the situation where the farmers would look at the sky for the rain clouds would be gone forever. I am happy to announce that the dream of Telangana State becoming famine-free will be realized very soon.
Pure water is the first and foremost medicine.
The aim of the State Government to supply protected and safe drinking water to every household is being fulfilled under its flagship scheme, Mission Bhagiratha. As on date, major portion of works of the project is completed. As of today, protected and purified water is being supplied to 23,968 habitations in the State. In 23,919 habitations, purified drinking water is supplied to all the houses through pipes. Mission Bhagiratha scheme will be completed cent percent shortly.
The State Government was able to overcome the power crisis with proper planning and strategies. Now, all the sectors are given 24-hour uninterrupted power supply. For the farm sector, 24-hour-free-uninterrupted quality power is being supplied throughout the state for the first time in the country. This is a major achievement for us. Though there was an unprecedented demand for power at 11,703 MWs, the fact that the Telangana Government supplied required power without any power cut even for a split second is nothing but a grand achievement. The Power utilities of the Telangana State won several awards at national level, in power generation, distribution, consumption, administration and other related areas. The Centre has given first rank to the State in Energy Efficiency Index and let me stress that this is nothing but a great achievement of our power utilities.
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
The State Government is of a firm view that only education with the highest standards will ensure a bright future to children from the downtrodden in the society. Taking inspiration from Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Mahatma Jyothirao Phule, the State Government is running 959 Residential Schools in the State. Students from BC, SC, ST and Minority Communities, who are studying in these great institutions, have won many laurels and accolades at the national and international levels bringing name and fame to the state.
"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver", says Mahatma Gandhi.
To ensure better medical and health care for poor and needy, the State Government improvised facilities in all its hospitals. The very fact that there is 30 per cent increase in patients preferring government hospitals after formation of the State which itself shows people's increased faith in government hospitals. Besides the KCR Kits, financial assistance given by the government encouraged poor women to get their deliveries done at government hospitals. With the KCR Kits scheme, maternity and infant mortality rate have comedown which is a piece of good news to all of us. Before formation of the State, maternity mortality rate was 90 which has now come down to 76. The infant mortality rate has come down from 35 to 29 now. There is an increase in inpatients number in government hospitals as facilities like Dialysis centres, diagnostic centres and ICUs were set up across the State. The Basti Dawakhanas launched on an experimental basis in Hyderabad proved to be very useful to the poor. The State stood one among the first three States in providing better medical care through government hospitals. This ranking is given by Niti Aayog and our Telangana State stood one among the top three last year too. This is also a great achievement for us and a matter of pride too.
The eye is the lamp of the body so if your eye is healthy your whole body will be full of light. For the first time in the country, the State Government conducted Kanti Velugu program intending to reach out to all those who are suffering from eye related ailments. Eye camps were organized in villages, towns and cities, clinical tests were conducted on a whopping 1.54 crore people. Requisite medicines and spectacles were given to the people free of cost, under the revolutionary program. The State Government is now gearing up to conduct ENT and Dental tests on a massive scale. After conducting proper medical tests, the State Government wants to develop "Telangana Health profile". I am happy to announce that this programme will be implemented soon.
The State Government launched Haritha Haram program with social responsibility to increase green cover in the State to 33 per cent and to protect the environment and the same is being implemented successfully across the state. People are voluntarily planting saplings and taking up the responsibility for the growth of saplings that they planted. The State Government is taking up a special initiative under "Jungle Bachao-Jungle Badavo" slogan to protect and grow forests. 94 forest places near towns and cities were identified and they are being developed as Urban Forest Parks.
"As a young citizen of India, armed with technology, knowledge and love for my nation, I realize, small aim is a crime", says Abdul Kalam.
With the advent of the TS-iPASS Act and the reforms undertaken through it, many companies both in IT and non-IT sectors have come to the State, helping the State's progress, besides generation of employment.
Law and Order
"Law and Order are medicine for body politic and when body politic gets sick, medicine should be administered", says Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
The Telangana State is one among top states in the country, so far as the Law and Order situation is concerned. The Telangana police are getting good results in preventing crimes and in criminal investigation by using state-of-the-art technologies. Police are showing zero tolerance towards antisocial elements and those who are perpetrating crimes against the women and the children.
Hyderabad as World Class City
The State Government's efforts are afoot to make Hyderabad a Global City. Hyderabad became the best livable city in the world. World famous JLL institute, which studied 130 Metropolitan cities in the World, released the list of top 20 cities of the world recently and our own Hyderabad city topped the list. This is a moment of pride for all of us. Hyderabad is the best destination point for expansion of business and trade, real estate sector, establishment of industries, IT companies and for permanent residency. The Government will prepare special plans for Hyderabad, in tune with emerging needs.
Morals and ethics from tender age
"True teachers are those who help us think for ourselves. A life of joy and happiness is possible only on the basis of knowledge and science", says Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.
Today's children are tomorrow's citizens and if they are inculcated with good morals and values at tender age, they will become great assets to the society. Hence, the State Government has decided to have proper curriculum on ethics and morals from school level, so that children will become good and useful citizens.
Vivekananda says, "we want that education by which the character is formed, strength of mind is increased, the intellect is expanded and by which one can stand on one's own feet".
Telangana State stood first in many sectors. But the State is lagging behind in literacy levels. With the call given by the Chief Minister 'Each One Teach One', many are coming forward to make illiterates as literates. The Government will soon announce an action plan to make the State fully literate. I urge all the people to participate in this movement.
Swatchh Bharat – Open Defecation Free Telangana
As our Hon'ble Prime Minister quoted in his speech on 15th August, 2014 that cleanliness and sanitation were the two things extremely close to Mahatma Gandhi's heart.
Mahatma Gandhi said that for him sanitation was even more important than political independence.
All the districts, 12,751 gram panchayats, and 141 urban local bodies have been declared as Open Defecation Free.
With this, incidence of diseases reduced, dignity of women enhanced, enrolment of school going adolescent girls increased, and there is a substantial improvement in rural thrift.
The Telangana State within a short period, reaped excellence and bagged many national and international awards and accolades. These are the fruits of the endeavours made by the State Government with total commitment and dedication. With the encouragement and cooperation of the people, the State Government will move forward with great determination to make the state as one of the pioneering states in the country.
I once again convey my Republic Day greetings to you all.