The callous attitude of the CM coupled with the ‘special status’ given to the Muslim dominant Old city and the free hand given to Muslim Majlis (MIM) party leaders has aggravated the COVID19 scenario to unprecedented proportions.
- Dr. Duggaraju Srinivasa Rao
KCR has hinted at another lockdown in Hyderabad as COVID19 cases continue to skyrocket
The brand image of Hyderabad is badly hit with the inept handling of the Covid19 by the Telangana government lead by K. Chandrasekhara Rao (KCR). As on the last week of June the situation in Hyderabad is so bad that social media messages are full of warnings for the people of Hyderabad city to leave to save themselves and for outsiders not to venture into the city. It is not a conspiracy to malign the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) as alleged by KCR but a reality which is evident from the video uploaded by a Covid19 patient from chest hospital of Telangana government before succumbing to the virus. His final moments seem to be gruesome as the doctors have taken away the oxygen mask for some reasons and patient died within minutes of posting the video. Similar are the experience of others, the residents horrified at the spread of the Covid19 and patients terrified at the conditions in the wards they were placed. The senior IPS officer in charge of state police training academy was immediately transferred without posting the moment he made public regarding the corona infection to 170 staff. The busy business markets in the Muslim dominated old city area and the downtown showrooms were voluntarily announced shut down for a week starting from 26th of June. With situation going out of control some observers estimate that the day may not be far away for Hyderabad to join the select band of metros Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai if not surpass them.
Worried over Hyderabad situation the central government has sent a committee to observe and make suggestions to the Telangana administration. The committee found the alarming high positivity rate 30-40%, the highest among the major infested cities in India coupled with the low testing for 10 lakh population compared to the other cities. Over 80% of positive cases and deaths in Telangana are reported from the capital city while the other districts in the state are relatively safe with Corona. These statistics point out that something was wrong with the way Covid19 was handled in Hyderabad. Telangana government is not ready to accept the reality but trying to take shelter under the statistical umbrella of comparison with national or metros data which ever suites them at a given time. The fact is, Hyderabad’s current situation is the cumulative result of KCR’s callous attitude. When the leaders’ focus is more on politics and less on administration such things are bound to happen, and this is a lesson for all those CMs of regional parties.
For some unknown reasons Chief Minister KCR initially didn’t take corona issue seriously. When the first Tablighis of the foreign origin were spotted in Karimnagar the administrations didn’t take proper action despite they are being the Corona carriers. His statement in the assembly that “corona is like any other virus which will go on its own” was buttressed by his quote of a health expert that “paracetamol tablet and detergent are sufficient to counter Corona”. This callous attitude coupled with the ‘special status’ given the Muslim dominant Old city and the free hand given to Muslim Majlis (MIM) party leaders.
Under the undeclared ‘special status’ given to the Old City area and the MIM leaders the Muslim populace felt free to roam across the city transmitting Corona to one and all. There was no social distancing norm in Old City. Even as late as on 27th of June, the day 1000 positive cases are reported, the KCR administration allowed nearly 800 mourners to follow the coffin of Muslim religious preacher Moulana Naseeruddin (75), a suspect in then Gujarat Home Minister Hiren Pandya murder case, in jail for about 6 years, who died of other health issues including a suspected symptoms. Such was the leniency given to the Muslims in Hyderabad that MIM leaders were seen throwing away the barricades erected in Corona containment areas.
When the first Tablighis of the foreign origin were spotted in Karimnagar the administrations didn’t take proper action despite they are being the Corona carriers.
KCR was impatient even for sane suggestions on Corona as he believed that he knows everything on tackling that. His sarcasm on his political opponents has spilled on to the media, where reporters were ridiculed for poor knowledge, threatened if they persist with negative stories on the state. Unfortunately, he equates himself with the state and feels that any criticism of his administration is an attack on Telangana sentiment. His followers also belief that and that is the misfortune of the State.
The two vocal opposition MPs Bandi Sanjay of BJP and Revanth Reddy of Congress consistently exposed the hollowness of KCR achievements in the medical care. Telangana BJP leaders including party president Bandi Sanjay were taken into custody when they insisted to visit Gandhi hospital and personally see the kind of treatment offered there for Corona patients. Revanth Reddy uploaded a video on his visit to Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS), which was opened with a big fanfare and tall claims are made regarding the health facilities created there. There are no facilities worth mentioning except skeletal support staff there. As such Hyderabad is left with two major Hospitals Osmania, and Gandhi which are not able to cope with the galloping covid19 cases.
No proper action was taken even after Tablighis of foreign origin who were Corona virus carriers were spotted in Karimnagar
KCR’s Telangana was a suspect on the Corona data fed to the union Health Ministry since beginning. No tests were conducted on the scale that is expected for such a big city like Hyderabad, no quarantine facilities were put in place, positive cases and deaths were suppressed. Media was barred on the Corona coverage. It is all ‘my will is final’ attitude of KCR which resulted in the current fate of Hyderabad and Corona. Till High Court of Telangana ordered the daily bulletin on Corona was withheld by KCR government.
The two vocal opposition MPs Bandi Sanjay of BJP and Revanth Reddy of Congress consistently exposed the hollowness of KCR achievements in the medical care. Telangana BJP leaders including party president Bandi Sanjay were taken into custody when they insisted to visit Gandhi hospital and personally see the kind of treatment offered there for Corona patients.
As the Corona positives mounted and government hospital failed to cope KCR is compelled to permit private hospitals to make corona tests. As usual it was money sucking for the private hospitals. A patient who was there in well known private hospital for corona treatment for five days were billed 3.4 lakhs. When there is no known medicine for Corona what was treatment given by that Hyderabad hospital to cost that much. Now the Hyderabadis are left in lurch as there is no space for new patients in government hospitals and they are not able to pay such a high amount for private treatment. Even the health Minister of Telangana is also reported to have advised the city people to make their own arrangements for quarantine in homes and visit hospital if the condition is serious. That statement summarizes the helplessness of the KCR administration.
KCR is not ready to accept the failure of his administration, so he started blaming other including central government, the union health department guidelines, private hospitals for giving high percentage of positive reports, opposition parties in the state, media houses, employees etc. except the original spreaders the Delhi returned Muslims and callous MIM party and its leaders.
Short of ideas suddenly KCR talked about the non-receipt of central financial assistance and issued an ordinance for deferred payment of salaries and pensions claiming that government needs money to tackle Corona. Within few days of the ordinance KCR said to farmers that his government he had cut the salaries of the employees to give money to them under his ‘Rytu Bandhu’ scheme.
Thus, KCR could neither control the Corona nor properly manage the finances of the state. Telangana which was a surplus finance state as on its creation in 2014 is now a debt burdened one. His claim that he invested on development couldn’t be substantiated as the revenue has increased proportionately. With state financial management already under scanner and now the brand image of Hyderabad hit with Covid19 what KCR will do next is the thing for which people who shared his dream of ‘golden Telangana’ is anxiously waiting for.