Telangana shuts down for household survey
news Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 05:30
The News Minute | August 19, 2014 | 11.31 am IST Telangana has come to a standstill today. Educational institutions are shut, all transport services have been stopped, more than 650 petrol stations have downed shutters, cinema theatres are closed, even newspapers are working with just skeletal stuff. Telangana government started its Intensive Household Survey on Tuesday, a census by the state to count the populations and record socio-economic data. The survey is being conducted in all 10 districts of the state and over two lakh enumerators have been put on the job.Over the weekend and on Monday, thousands of people returned to their home towns and villages in Telangana. There were crowds at bus and railway stations as families headed to home be present during the visit of the enumerators. The state-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) was operating special buses to clear the rush. People working in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and other states also returned home as the authorities made it clear that those who don't participate will lose the benefits they are enjoying under various welfare schemes. The survey, which will cover the nearly four crore population of the state, is said to be the biggest exercise ever undertaken in the country in a single day. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government is going all out for the success of the massive exercise aimed at identifying real beneficiaries of welfare schemes and weeding out the bogus ones. It has allayed apprehensions of people from Andhra Pradesh settled in Hyderabad that the survey is being undertaken to single them out. Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhara Rao blamed vested interests for spreading rumours, pointing out that there is no nativity column in the survey form. Controversial questions The TRS government has been assuring people that the data collected through the survey will only be used to prepare lists of beneficiaries for welfare schemes. But many are not convinced as the questions of the survey ask people to give details of their bank accounts, post office accounts and mother tongue. Alhough the government told the AP High Court that the survey was being done only on a voluntary basis, most people in the state are under the impression that the survey is mandatory.