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Polavaram: Agency Girijans face threat of evacuation మే 28, 2013

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Andhrapreneurship, Godavari, Khammam, Koya, Polavaram, ST, Telangana.
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Polavaram: Agency Girijans face threat of evacuation
May 24, 2013, The Hans India

Khammam: Several hundreds of Girijans living in the Agency area of Khammam district are facing threat of evacuation due to the construction of Polavaram Major Irrigation Project across Godavari in Polavaram mandal of West Godavari district. West Godavari district spreads on one side of Godavari while tribal villages in Khammam district spread on the other side.

These tribal thandas along the riverside of Godavari in Khammam district face the threat of evacuation. For establishing a project whether by Union Government or by State Government in the Agency area where Girijans live in large numbers, the consent of the local people (tribals) is essential. The government has to conduct Grama Sabhas at the affected villages.

A representative from the court should also present at the meetings along with government officials to gather public opinion for establishing the project. But in practice, the government has not been showing interest to conduct such meetings. Even if such meetings are conducted, they are only a formality.

There are about 5.6 lakh Girijans living in about 16,000 sqkms in Khammam district. The Girijan communities comprise Koyas, Kondareddys, Lambadas, Yerukala, Yanadis and other categories. The Union Government had launched Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) in 1974 for the development of Girijans.

The government has been spending several thousands of crores of rupees for the welfare of tribal population. In the absence of proper planning, the funds released by Government are not reaching the eligible Girijans. There are inordinate delays in sanctioning funds by the officials at state level.

The sanctioned funds are misused by officials at all levels from state level to mandal level. The ITDA officials show some statistics annually for spending of the sanctioned funds. At many places, the officials misused the funds as there was no supervision for proper utilization of funds.

In the name of establishing National Park, the Girijans are not allowed to collect beedi leaves or other categories of forest leaves for their livelihood in the Agency area of the district. Now the construction of Polavaram Irrigation Project is creating uncertainty among the Girijans about their stay in their original habitations.

Source: http://www.thehansindia.com/2013/05/24/polavaram-agency-girijans-face-threat-of-evacuation/

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