The Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Association(HMDA) and climate activists seem to have locked horns as the HMDA slapped an absurd fine of Rs.11,000 on the teen activist conducting the "Global Climate Strike." Activists across the city have come in support of the young activist. However, they are raising objections to the fine collected by the HMDA, which involved no commercial activity, and are trying to understand the reason behind collecting money.
The event was organized on September 24 by the young activist who gathered a few more people at the LUV Hyderabad sign at People's Plaza to highlight the current environment scenario, how things might get worse, and what people need to do. The activist is outraged by the fee taken from her and also mentioned that she found no such clause or provision to make this payment on the HMDA's online portal where only commercial activists are entitled to do so before they set out on their public activity.
The activist highlighted how this activity was a low-key event but had proper police permission and was still embarrassed and charged such a lumpsum amount. The activist was charged Rs.11,800, including the 10,000/- a charge mentioned in the HMDA website for any commercial rally or campaign at Necklace road for 4 hours plus Rs.1800/- GST. The activist's parents did not want to dampen the protest plan in front of her friends and supporters, which is why they paid the amount.
But later, after the activist learned that she was unethically looted, she wrote to the HMDA for receipt. The body immediately denied any permit and did not show the division of rates in the 11,800 collected. If this challan was paid at a bank, the deposited slip would act as a receipt, but a refund or any bill is not possible since that is not the case said the HMDA in their defense.
After learning this incident, the activist's father and Dr. Lubna Sarwath, an environmentalist, in their respective letters to the HMDA and BPP, wrote how this is unethical and asked them to return the money. The environmentalist took one step ahead and asked the HMDA to pay Rs. 1 Lakh as compensation towards the young activist and all the issues they have had to face.