ANDHRA PRADESH

Naidu outlines priorities

Hyderabad Nov. 9. Extension of the GO No 508 by two years regarding land acquisitions for weaker section housing, regularisation of housing encroachments on reserve forests under the custody of the Union Government and setting up of e-Seva centres in all the municipalities in the State by March were some of the boons announced by the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, at the concluding session of the Collectors' conference at Jubilee Hall here on Saturday.

Clarifying the Government stand on different issues raised by the Collectors, Mr Naidu, however, cautioned the district heads against taking away temple lands without paying proper compensation. Donors, through ages, gifted lands to temples for continued "dhoopa deepa naivedya'' and if the compensation was remitted, the very meaning and purpose of charity would be lost.

The Chief Minister said the plea made by the State for regularisation of the encroachments made on certain reserve forests before 1980 was favourably considered and wanted a State-wide survey to be done for this by the Revenue and Forest Departments immediately. He also sought arrangements in all municipalities for introduction of e-Seva facility by March. The Chief Secretary, Sathi Nair, and top brass of departments/agencies sat through the day-long deliberations running into the night as the Chief Minister, with the help of the Cabinet which was present in full strength, cleared the issues, one after the other. The second day discussions covered human development which included education, health, family welfare and housing, welfare (of SCs, STs, BCs, minorities, disabled and women), local bodies and self-help groups, infrastructure (energy, irrigation, roads and buildings), income- generation, governance and general issues.

Dealing with health, the Chief Minister projected AIDS control as "topmost'' priority, saying if its vulnerability was not tackled properly now, they would be left with nothing except AIDS for discussion after four years. He wanted the AIDS Control Project director, K. Damayanthi, to go in a big way to observe December 1 as AIDS day and prepare an action plan for year-long activity which would include decoration at all meetings with display of condoms. On housing, Mr. Naidu asked officials to "liberalise payments and procedures'' regarding which beneficiaries were facing problems, a point raised by the Major Irrigation Minister, K. Srihari. Deliberating welfare, Mr. Naidu released a leaflet on compensations allowed on different atrocities brought out by the Social Welfare Department, and announced that a Malaysian team was shortly coming to the State to rectify the technical snags found with the bio-metric cards to be introduced at all government-run hostels for better attendance and avoiding bogus enrolment. The Principal Secretary for BC Welfare, A. Raghuthama Rao, spoke about "a lot of choice'' given to beneficiaries under revised guidelines of the Adarana regarding tool selection and brand.

Mr Naidu gave an ultimatum, ruling out further extension of deadline for filling backlog vacancies and asking the officials to come out with action-taken reports within 30 days on the 2,300 vacancies now.

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