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10 million people attend India’s largest tribal fair – Medaram Jatara ఫిబ్రవరి 18, 2016

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Gond, heritage, Identity, indigenous, Kakatiya, Koya, ST, Telangana, Telangana Festivals.
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10 Million People Descend on Telangana Forest for India’s Largest Tribal Fair

February 17, 2016 IANS, WARANGAL, Telangana

Hundreds of thousands of people have reached Medaram in Warangal district for Sammakka Sarakka Jatara, India’s largest tribal fair, which began Feb. 17.

Devotees, both tribal and non-tribal, from different parts of Telangana and other states like Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka are participating in the four-day fair, also known as Medaram Jatra.

Medaram and surrounding villages in the forest, about 100 km from district headquarters, have turned into sea of humanity for the tribal festival, organized once in two years. Men and women took a dip in Jampanna stream, which they believe will wash away their sins.
Devotees belonging to different states and speaking different languages thronged the forests to pay obeisance to tribal goddesses Sammakka and Sarakka.

The unique rituals, which include devotees offering jaggery to the deities, began Feb. 17 night with the customary arrival of Sarakka’s image from Kannepally village which was placed on a platform. The image idol covered in red cloth was brought in a vessel laden with vermilion and turmeric powder. (మరింత…)

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War against tribals – Dam and encounters by Andhra government జనవరి 6, 2015

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Andhra, Andhrapreneurship, Bhadrachalam, displacement, ecology, Godavari, Identity, indigenous, Koya, Polavaram, ST, submergence, TDP, Telangana, TRS.
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Another Salwa Judum in the making?

Krishna Prasad, The Times of India, TNN, Jan 6, 2015

Hyderabad: In what could be a rerun of the failed Salwa Judum campaign of Chhattisgarh, the Andhra Pradesh government, faced with a renewed threat from Maoists, is planning to raise a tribal police battalion to take on the insurgents.

The cabinet sub-committee on Naxalite problem, headed by finance minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, has recommended a tribal battalion, staffed by tribal youth from East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam, exclusively to counter Maoist insurgence on the Andhra-Odisha-Chhattisgarh border. Plans are afoot to locate the battalion either at Rampachodavaram in East Godavari or Paderu in Visakhapatnam district.

While the government says the decision is aimed at discouraging angry tribal youth, many of who would be dislocated due to the Polavaram project, from joining the Maoist fold, security experts feel the move is likely to backfire.

“What happened in Bastar in Chhattisgarh, which is not far from tribal areas of Visakhapatnam, East Godavari and Srikakulam, is still fresh,” cautioned former director general of police Pervaram Ramulu. “In the name of Salwa Judum, tribals were fielded against Maoists. The proposed tribal battalion is similar to Salwa Judum. In the name of employment, tribals should not be made to suffer,” he added. (మరింత…)

I support bifurcation: AP Tribal Welfare Minister Pasupuleti Balaraju జనవరి 24, 2014

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Congress, Identity, indigenous, Polavaram, ST, Telangana, Vishakapatnam.
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Pasupuleti Balaraju turns a hero for Telangana men
Deccan Chronicle, C.R.Gowri Shanker, 24 January 2014

Hyderabad: Tribal welfare minister, Pasupuleti Balaraju’s declaration, “I am committed to the Congress. I support bifurcation,” has made him a hero among Telangana legislators and those backing the decision.

Balaraju was elected twice from Paderu (ST) Assembly constituency in the tribal belt of Visakhapatnam district.

Some members, who are close to Balaraju, say the minister’s brave stand also reflects regrouping of weaker sections in the party and the challenge to the upper castes.

Interestingly, the support of dalit minister, who holds the portfolio of rural development, to Balaraju, has given rise to this speculation. (మరింత…)

Polavaram tenders, a case of ‘quo pro quid’ ?? నవంబర్ 1, 2012

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Andhra, biodiversity, Congress, corruption, Godavari, indigenous, Polavaram, politics, Telangana, TRS.
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Polavaram tenders, a case of ‘quo pro quid’ ??
by A Saye Sekhar, Frontpageindia.com Oct 31,2012

Transstroy India Ltd was selected for the execution of the massive Polavaram project. The project tenders became controversial twice and the Government had cancelled the tenders following legal intervention. In fact, the tender was given to SEW Infrastructure of CL Rajam, who is Chairman of Namaste Telangana newspaper and a close associate of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president K Chandrasekhar Rao.

When the Government cancelled the earlier ones and called for tenders afresh, Transstroy India Ltd in which Guntur MP Rayapati Sambasiva Rao, has interests, and Soma Constructions came as L1 and L2. After the techno-economic analysis, the Engineer-in-Chief of multi-thousand-crore Polavaram Project awarded the execution order to Transstroy India Ltd, which was asked to submit the project schedule within 15 days. (మరింత…)

Polavaram Dam: Corrupt interests at the expense of noble alternatives అక్టోబర్ 25, 2012

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in corruption, Culture, ecology, Godavari, Identity, indigenous, Koya, Polavaram.
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Observational Report on the Polavaram Dam Project and Surrounding Areas
By: Drew Bahr, HELP International Intern

During the summer of 2011 I had the opportunity to personally witness the proposed construction site of the Polavaram Dam as well as interview three engineers and environment experts with alternative proposals and view the conditions of the people in the proposed area of displacement that would be created by the Dam. During this three-day journey from Hyderabad to northern Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, I was surprised to find that many things are not as they were officially described by the government.

Our trip began with an effort to document the present existence of canals to provide irrigation for the surrounding countryside from the Godavari River to refute the claim that the Dam is necessary to provide irrigation for rice and other crops. Although government engineers seem to ignore their presence, we visited perfectly working canals and pumping stations from the river alongside new canals which were supposedly built to take water from the Godavari River to the Krishna River Basin. These larger canals, however, seem to have displaced an inordinate amount of farmers and did not provide means for their local use through pumps or other forms of access.

Secondly, we visited the actual site of the Polavaram Dam and were able to observe proposed construction plans and costs. I was shocked and ashamed to find that the costs of the Dam project had greatly exceeded the rate of inflation of the Rupee several times over and that the proposed additions to the Dam to justify such expense were not commensurate. Moreover, the safety and security of an earthen dam of such vast proportion was clearly called into question upon seeing both the proposed length of the dam as well as the size of the potential reservoir. I would recommend that all inhabitants downstream on the Godavari River take note of the catastrophe and imminent danger a rupture or collapse of the earthen dam would pose to their lives and livelihoods. (మరింత…)

Adivasis launch ‘Jala Deeksha’ అక్టోబర్ 21, 2012

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Andhra, biodiversity, Congress, corruption, Culture, ecology, Godavari, heritage, Identity, indigenous, Khammam, Koya, Polavaram, ST, struggle, Telangana, YSR.
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Adivasis launch ‘Jala Deeksha’
Staff reporter, The Hindu, Khammam, October 19, 2012

Standing in waist-deep water near Kunavaram, the protesters raise slogans against Polavaram project

Adivasis from areas facing submergence from the Polavaram project on Thursday launched a relay “Jala Deeksha” at the confluence point of the Sabari and the Godavari near Kunavaram.

The Adivasis launched the agitation under the aegis of the “People Against Polavaram Project” (PAPP), an inter-State committee comprising various tribal organisations of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Ordisha. Adivasis from Malkangiri district in Odisha and Sukma district in Chhattisgarh participated in the stir on the first day.
(మరింత…)

Tribals launch Jala Deeksha against Polavaram Dam అక్టోబర్ 20, 2012

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Andhrapreneurship, biodiversity, corruption, Culture, Godavari, Identity, indigenous, Polavaram, ST.
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2 వ్యాఖ్యలు

Tribals launch Jala Deeksha against Polavaram Dam
M Bharath Bhushan

Tribals and civil society organizations from Malkangiri (Odisha), Sukma (Chhattisgarh), and Khammam (Andhra Pradesh) launched Jala Deeksha on Thursday 18 October demanding immediate withdrawal of Polavaram project that threatens to adversely affect around four lakh people in Eastern Ghats besides causing irreversible loss to ecology in the region.

The Polavaram project is in violation of several laws. It is most controversial and illegal as it lacks approvals from affected people and the authorities of two neighboring states and Government of India. There is no approval of Grama Sabhas in the submergence region of Orissa and Chattisgarh states where no public hearing has been held (even if dykes and protection bunds are constructed to avoid submergence). It also lacks approvals from Gram Sabhas of hundreds of villages to be submerged in Khammam, East Godavari and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh.

The project lacks Environmental clearance from MoEF for submergence in Orissa and Chattisgarh states (or for dykes/ protection bunds, etc); Clearance from CEA for power component; Clearance for revised costs by the expenditure (Finance) Committee; Approval of Planning Commission Government of India for revised costs; among other clearances from several central authorities.

This is a project which benefits none, but a curse for all.

The project claims to irrigate land that is already irrigated under existing and ongoing projects such as Tatipudi – Pushakara LIS, Yeleru, Chagalanadu LIS, and Torrigedda Pumping Scheme irrigating altogether 520,000 acres out of Polavaram project’s claim of irrigating 720,000 acres in the same region. The duplicate project is being pushed by Government of Andhra Pradesh only to benefit contractors who have already made thousands of crores for duplicate canals adjoining the existing canals downstream.

The dam is likely to cause massive destruction downstream in the event of dam failure/ dam break according to experts – Prof Sivaji Rao and T Hanumantha Rao (Retd Engineer in Chief, Govt of Andhra Pradesh). National Institute of Hydrology estimated that about four million people downstream would be killed in case of dam failure.
(మరింత…)