The Telangana State Prisons Department said that it had restarted its initiative to rehabilitate beggars in Hyderabad, and was committed in seeing a 'beggar-free' city.
"Prisons Department has oriented itself into a high-end social service organisation. It takes care of the last rung of the society, ie, beggars, a press release stated.
The press release said that 316 male beggars and 164 female beggars had been rehabilitated to the Anand Ashram in Chanchalguda.
Out of this, 261 male and 140 female beggars were released, after they assured officials that they would not resort to begging again.
At present, there are 55 male beggars and 24 female beggars in shelters provided at the Chanchalguda and Cherlapally Prisons, officials said.
The release, signed by Director General of Prisons VK Singh, also said that the department intended to make Hyderabad a beggar free city by December 20.
Therefore, starting on December 25, the eve of Christmas, they plan to declare a reward of Rs 500 to citizens, for information on beggars.
People can call the numbers 040-24511791 and 040-24527846, to report beggars, officials said.
The crackdown on the homeless began on October 20, ahead of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) that was hosted in the city.
The GES was attended by several dignitaries and foreign delegates including Advisor to the US President, Ivanka Trump, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Officials said that the beggars were released after taking their fingerprints and photos, besides an undertaking from them.
According to the undertaking, the homeless, if caught again begging in the city, would be arrested under Prevention of Begging Act 1977 with an imprisonment ranging from six months to five years.
Earlier, a notification issued by the then city police Commissioner M Mahender Reddy said that the ban on begging would be only for a period of two-months.
However, it was later decided that the ban would extend and continue to remain even after the three-day Global Entrepreneurship Summit scheduled from November 28.