Warangal district is on the road to development by ensuring physical infrastructure, attracting private economic growth generators and augmenting social change, says Amrapali Kata, IAS, District Collector, Warangal, Telangana, in an interview with Sudheer Goutham and Harshal Desai of Elets News Network (ENN). Excerpts:
How is your administration driving the overall development in the district? Can you share with us top five prominent issues on your agenda?
With the formation of new districts, the focus is on bringing administration closer to people, and also to ensure development based on micro planning. There are several issues that we have prioritised for Warangal. We would like to develop the district as an hub by ensuring establishment of new educational institutions and providing the requisite physical, social and cultural infrastructure to support existing institutions. We also want Warangal district to be known as a tourist hub. We aim at positioning Warangal in national and international markets and highlight its rich cultural heritage.
Further, we also want to kick-start development of Warangal city by ensuring physical infrastructure, attracting private economic growth generators and augmenting social change.
Besides, strengthening and supporting the district’s existing position as the largest supplier of healthcare facilities in Telangana outside Hyderabad by improving government facilities and attracting private investment is also on our agenda.
We will also like to ensure access to markets and information to not only all farmers in the district but also to the farmers from 10 surrounding districts who come to agriculture market yard at Warangal.
How successful and significant was the programme on cashless transaction held under your supervision in the district? What is your view about demonetisation?
In a city like Warangal – with its large percentage of young student population – the drive was on two fronts – one, to ensure all points of sales provided alternates to cash through Point of Sales (POS) swiping devices and smart phone enabled services, and two, to ensure all users are educated and motivated to shift to smartphone-based solution. This was done through various stakeholder level meets, college, workshops, etc.
In a rural setting, demonetisation is restricted by technology which unfortunately is yet to catch up with our vision. Our drive was largely focused on ensuring financial inclusion and tying up the loose ends. We are willing to ensure that every citizen has an active bank account and ATM card which is linked to his/her Aadhaar and mobile number. With the limitation of smartphone and internet usage in villages, one cannot just depend on mobile apps.
How has been the public response towards your appeal to keep Warangal clean?
Please elaborate on the Swachhata App as well. Warangal has been very responsive with respect to download and usage of the Swachhata App. We have managed to get 5,500 downloads (and still counting). Citizens can use the App to take photos and upload complaints and it is delightful that we have a disposal of near 100 per cent in these cases.
How much successful you have been in brining improvement in the education and healthcare institutes within the city?
We have focused on tying up resources for basic minimum facilities for schools. Efforts are also being made to raise funds through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This is indeed an area where we need some investment. Over the next month, all schools in Greater Warangal Municipal Corporation (GWMC) will have basic minimum facilities.
We are ensuring every possible effort to improve the quality of education. We are also ensuring college students in the city are involved in the development of the district through active involvement of National Service Scheme (NSS) and various other means.
As far as health sector is concerned, we are focusing a lot on improving Primary Health Care Centres (PHCs) with a drive towards maternal health and institutional deliveries. Further, upgradation of tertiary government healthcare institutions is also being undertaken.
What initiatives have been put in place to help farmers?
We have been encouraging horticulture growth around the city to ensure the city’s needs are met locally as much as possible. Designing cropping clusters based on soil, water availability and access to markets, strengthening existing markets and tying up market chains, and encouraging and supporting investment in agro processing and storage units are some of the initiatives we have undertaken for farmers.