How Metro rail, Ivanka Trump, PV Sindhu kept Hyderabad in limelight in 2017

HYDERABAD:¬†¬†Hyderabad boarded the metro rail map of India in 2017, during which the Telangana capital also grabbed headlines by hosting a high-profile summit where US President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka hogged the limelight.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the 30-km stretch of the metro rail project on November 28 between Miyapur and Nagole, which was a huge relief to the city’s residents facing traffic woes.

Covering a total distance of around 72 km across three corridors, it is the world’s largest public private partnership project in the metro sector, according to the L&T Metro Rail, Hyderabad, the concessionaire for the metro rail project.

On the same day, Modi also inaugurated the 8th edition of Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES), jointly hosted by NITI Ayog and the US government.

The summit, hosted for the first time in South Asia, was addressed by Modi and Ivanka, who led the US delegation. The event was held on the theme ‘Women First, Prosperity for All’ to celebrate entrepreneurial spirit.

At the GES, the Telangana government announced a move to set up an exclusive innovation hub called WE-Hub to encourage women entrepreneurs.

During the year, the Telangana government organised the World Telugu Conference, the first in the state after the bifurcation of undivided Andhra Pradesh.

Renowned Telugu litterateur, film lyricist and Jnanpith award winner C Narayana Reddy, who hails from Telangana, passed away during the year.

Politically, it was a smooth sailing for the TRS government which is now focused on completion of its ambitious irrigation projects like Kaleshwaram and implementation of various welfare schemes like social security pensions.

One of the significant political developments was the switch over of fire-brand TDP leader A Revanth Reddy to the Congress.

Reddy, MLA and Working President of TDP’s Telangana unit, is expected to give a much-needed boost to the main opposition Congress which is on a weak wicket.

The TDP’s Telangana unit finds itself heavily depleted. The TDP had won 15 assembly seats in the 2014 Legislative Assembly elections but the party is now left with only two MLAs as all others had switched loyalties.

The opposition BJP is making efforts to increase its strength in Telangana and party chief Amit Shah had toured the state for three days in May as part of the plans.

The opposition Congress and the BJP found fault with Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s proposal to build a new secretariat complex, describing it as a waste of public money, but the latter defended the idea saying that the existing buildings do not even meet fire safety standards.

State IT Minister K T Rama Rao had said the Telangana Fiber Grid (T-Fiber) project, aimed at providing Internet connection to every household in Telangana, would be completed by mid-2018.

The optical fiber cables are laid along with pipelines of Mission Bhagiratha, the state government s flagship programme to provide safe drinking water to every household.

During the year, the Telangana Legislature passed the Bill enhancing the reservations for Muslims and Scheduled Tribes (ST) to 12 per cent and 10 per cent respectively for admission into educational institutions and for the State services.

Top Maoist leader Ginugu Narsimha Reddy alias Jampanna, a member of CPI (Maoist) Central Committee, had surrendered before police in the last week of December.

In the sports arena, star shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth, who train at the Gopichand badminton academy here, scaled new heights.

If Sindhu cemented her place among the world’s best with three titles and three silvers, Srikanth exceeded all expectations with four titles and a runners-up finish to join the big league in a truly remarkable season.

The year also saw seasoned Saina Nehwal returning to action to clinch the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold early in the year. She gave ample proof of her progress by bagging a bronze at the World Championship.

Saina also notched up an incredible win over Sindhu at the finals of the Senior Nationals, but the 27-year-old’s fitness remained a concern and she decided to reunite with her long-time mentor Gopichand after spending three years under Vimal Kumar.