Re-building is on top on the new government’s agenda is evident from the focussed articulations of the Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and the IT Minister K. Tarakarama Rao.
The political leadership is well aware of the apprehensions about Hyderabad. “There were some problems earlier. The political instability at State and Central levels, the slowdown of economy, the agitation for bifurcation of State, had some impact on the brand image of Hyderabad,” conceded Mr. Rao. But he is quick to point out that with the political stability in the State and at the Centre, and the economy looking up, his government will not lose any time in pushing Hyderabad as the destination for investments.
“We need not sell Hyderabad to anyone. It sells itself. Our responsibility is to retain its image and enhance it if we can, but not mess with it,” said Mr. Rao.
He argues that the slump in the real estate industry in Hyderabad will be an advantage. The land rates in Bangalore are thrice that of Hyderabad and in Chennai it is double. “Isn’t this an advantage for the investor? Hyderabad will offer bigger returns on the investment,” pointed out Mr. Rao.
The effort of the government now is to create an eco system in Hyderabad, where industries like the IT will flourish. “Bangalore has that eco system. We would like to build it here. We would like to make Hyderabad as a destination for start-ups and entrepreneurs. The government would guide, promote, mentor, nurture entrepreneurs. We would like set up a Technology Development Bank to fund the start ups,” Mr. Rao reeled out details.
The young IT Minister, who spent over seven years in the U.S. prior to taking the plunge into politics, is aware that it’s not just the government facilities that usher in the technological eco system. “We need to ensure that Hyderabad is the place for relaxation. That’s why we are making efforts to promote leisure and lifestyle events here,” he said.
Mr Rao discloses that the government is already in consultations to set up up a major amusement park in Hyderabad and talks are already on to host the SunBurn music festival in Hyderabad. “We are in touch with companies which organise film festivals. I can assure you within a year, Hyderabad will rock,” the Minister promised.
What are the other plans for Hyderabad? In addition to improving the civic amenities, the government is planning to roll out a non-emergency citizen services facilitation system on lines of 311 of New York City. The government has plans to develop promenades at all available places especially at Durgam Cheruvu, the lake in the upscale locality near Hitec city. “We want to develop this lake as a promenade possibly with a hanging bridge. This pedestrian only place will have eateries which will promote Hyderabad cuisine,” the Minister said.
Similarly, the government is planning to develop a square near the Biodiversity park on the lines of Union Square in New York. “We have the place and the resources. We will do it. There are no obstacles now as Telangana has got a decisive leadership and stable government now” pointed out Mr Rao.