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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…)

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Odisha CM Opposes Polavaram Dam అక్టోబర్ 8, 2014

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Andhra, BJP, Godavari, Koya, Polavaram, submergence, TDP, Telangana, TRS.
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Odisha CM opposes Polavaram
TNN, 8 Ocober 2014, Hyderabad

In a major setback to Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s Polavaram mission, his Odisha counterpart Naveen Patnaik has conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi his opposition to the construction of Polavaram project across river Godavari in AP by the TDP government.

Patnaik has urged the Centre, now the implementing authority of the project, not to go ahead with its construction. The development comes at a time Naidu is scheduled to visit Bhubaneswar to meet Patnaik and seek Odisha’s cooperation to complete the multipurpose project as early as possible.

According to sources, the Odisha CM told Modi that all riparian states had serious reservations against the project that has now been accorded the status of national project as concession to residuary AP following bifurcation. (మరింత…)

Odisha to oppose Polavaram project at NWRC meet on Oct 30 అక్టోబర్ 27, 2012

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Andhra, Congress, corruption, Godavari, Polavaram, politics, ST, submergence.
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Odisha to raise Polavaram issue at NWRC meet
By IANS, Bhubaneswar, 26th October , 2012

Opposing the multi-purpose Polavaram project in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Odisha government today said it would raise the issue at the National Water Resources Council (NWRC) meeting slated to be held in Delhi on October 30.

“We will take up Polavaram issue at the meeting convened by the prime minister,” Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said before leaving on a six-day visit to New Delhi.

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the state government had been opposing the proposed Polavaram project for a long time. (File photo/ Express)

Stating that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has convened a meeting of chief ministers of various states, Patnaik said he would attend the convention and put forth issues relating to the state.

Besides the Prime Minister, the union water resources minister, the Andhra Pradesh chief minister and others are likely to attend the October 30 meeting. (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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3 వ్యాఖ్యలు

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…)

Transstroy is now the contractor to build disputed Polavaram Dam అక్టోబర్ 18, 2012

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Andhra, Andhrapreneurship, biodiversity, Congress, corruption, ecology, Godavari, Khammam, Koya, Polavaram, politics, regionalism, TDP, Telangana, TRS.
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Transstroy to implement Polavaram project

Special Correspondent, The Hindu, Hyderabad, October 18,2012

The consortium of Transstroy-JSC EC UES has finally been selected as the contractor to build the three main components of the Rs. 16,100-crore Polavaram project — rock-fill-cum-earthen dam, spillway and penstocks for 960-MW powerhouse planned as part of the project.

The selection has been made by the State Level Standing Committee (SLSC) headed by C. Muralidhar, engineer-in-chief, Irrigation, and reportedly approved by the High Level Committee which has Chief Secretary (Minnie Mathews) as its chairperson. The SLSC has other engineers-in-chief, the director, Finance, and the chief engineer, Central Designs Organisation, as members. Subject to final approval of the selection by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, Transstroy consortium will be awarded the contract for the works. Transstroy-JSC EC UES quoted a price of Rs. 4,054 crore which was 14 per cent less than the IBM (internal bench mark) value fixed by the government at Rs. 4,717 crore. (మరింత…)

Tasks for Kishore Chandra Deo, Tribal Minister జూలై 16, 2011

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Bhadrachalam, conflict resolution, Culture, displacement, Godavari, heritage, Hyderabad, Koya, livelihoods, Polavaram, Vishakapatnam.
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Among the projects taken up in post-Independent India, Polavaram is perhaps the largest single project that has disrupted the lives of the tribals most. The environment clearance given for Polavaram is not valid as it stands today, as there have been fundamental changes in the design of the project. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs should take the initiative in correcting these statutory violations, if necessary, by approaching the Supreme Court, even at this belated stage. The proposal of Andhra Pradesh to seek ‘national’ status for the current project proposal is merely a ploy to cover up its illegalities. In its current design, the project benefits a few chosen politician-cum-contractors, certainly not the public.

OPINION, Tehelka 16 July 2011

Tasks for the new tribal minister
EAS Sarma

Kishore Chandra Deo has had a long career in Parliament. Here’s a doable and basic manifesto for him as the new minister of tribal affairs

THE RECENT union cabinet reshuffle has its plus points as well as minus ones. One important introduction to the cabinet is that of Kishore Chandra Deo, a senior member of parliament representing the tribal legislators and a person who has been in close touch with the ground reality of the tribal constituency in the Visakhapatnam area he represents. Deo has been at the forefront of cautioning his party on the hasty manner in which industrial projects are being grounded in tribal areas without adequate consultation with the tribals. Now that he has occupied the position of a minister, there are high expectations that he will translate his statements into tangible policy initiatives. What are the challenges that lie before him?

Of course, in general terms, as the Minister incharge of both tribal affairs and panchayati raj, he should take initiatives that will further the interests of the tribals in terms of their constitutional entitlements and, simultaneously, empower the grassroots- level constitutional bodies like gram sabhas, panchayats and tribal advisory councils, especially in terms of enforcement of the PESA (Panchayats Extension to Scheduled Areas). (మరింత…)

Polavaram dam not possible with submergence in neighboring states- Jairam జూన్ 21, 2011

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in agitation, Andhra, Andhrapreneurship, Bhadrachalam, Congress, displacement, Godavari, heritage, Koya, Polavaram, politics, ST, Telangana, YSR.
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Polavaram project not possible till Andhra Pradesh govt ensures villages are not submerged: Jairam Ramesh

21 JUN, 2011, SREEKALA NAIR, ET BUREAU

HYDERABAD: Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh said the clearance for Polavaram project will not be possible till the Andhra Pradesh government ensures that villages in Chhattisgarh and Orissa are not submerged.

“There has been no significant shift since the last position. Orissa and Chhattisgarh are objecting as they fear Dantewada and Malkangiri will be submerged as a result of the project. The Andhra Pradesh government has proposed Rs 620 crore embankment wall to be constructed in these states. A final decision has to be taken on that matter by the Chhattisgarh and Orissa governments,” he said.

Conceived in 1941 with a budget of Rs 6.5 crore, the Polavaram project is yet to take off. The project has been mired in controversies including- environmental concerns, submersion of about 10,000 acres of forest land, land acquisition problems related to displacement of tribals in Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Orissa. The budget of the project has also gone up to Rs 16,000 crore. (మరింత…)

Illegal constructions can’t be stalled, only be inspected – Supreme Court on Polavaram ఏప్రిల్ 12, 2011

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Andhra, Andhrapreneurship, conflict resolution, Culture, displacement, Godavari, heritage, Khammam, Koya, Polavaram, politics, regionalism, Settler, ST, Telangana.
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SC rejects Orissa plea seeking stay on Polavaram dam construction

Indu Bhan, The Financial Express, Apr 12, 2011

New Delhi: In a setback to the Orissa government, the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday rejected its plea to stay construction of the controversial multi-purpose Polavaram irrigation project on river Godavari by Andhra Pradesh.

A bench headed by Justice Mukundakam Sharma directed former Central Water Commission (CWC) member M Gopalakrishnan to inspect the project along with the present CWC members and submit a separate reports to it by July 19, which is the next date of hearing.

The Bench, however, refused to entertain the plea of the Orissa government’s senior counsel Raju Ramachandran to stop the work by saying that “it will be difficult for us to stay the construction at this stage”.

It further observed that the project can be demolished later if it was found to be built in violation of environmental norms. (మరింత…)

Now Environment Minister Ramesh requests Polavaram Dam height reduced మార్చి 6, 2011

Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Andhra, Andhrapreneurship, Bhadrachalam, Congress, corruption, Godavari, heritage, Kakatiya, Khammam, Koya, livelihoods, Polavaram, politics, ST, TDP, Telangana, TRS, Vishakapatnam.
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Ramesh wants Polavaram Dam height reduced
Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi, March 05, 2011

Four months after issuing a notice to Andhra Pradesh government on south India’s biggest dam project, Polavaram, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh wants to reduce the dam’s height to end confrontation between Andhra and its two neighbouring states – Orissa and Chhattisgarh. The state Government has decided to retain the 150-ft height for the dam of the Polavaram project, which many believe can lead to submergence of villages in naxal struck Malkangiri in Orissa and Dantewada in Chhattisgarh and provide ammunition to naxals.

The decision taken on recommendation of a nine-member committee by Preetam Singh, former Chairman of the Central Water Commission (CWC), has irked the two state governments, who alleged they were not consulted before deciding to increase the height by about 60 meters.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh in a letter to Ramesh had complained that increasing the height would lead to huge submergence of land area in Dantewada as compared to environment clearance condition that only four villages will be affected. (మరింత…)