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Hyderabad as joint capital

Hyderabad as joint capital
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For any human settlement to come up, water and cultivable land is the basic need. Then come transport, education, health care and infrastructure. This...

To make Hyderabad available to people of all regions as a facility for employment, education and health care even for settlement sounds reasonable

For any human settlement to come up, water and cultivable land is the basic need. Then come transport, education, health care and infrastructure. This is the case with Hyderabad in particular and Andhra Pradesh in general which is richly endowed with resources with a little variation region wise. Firstly, it is unfortunate that how leaders/people could be so indifferent to a particular region's grievances, insensitive to the factors that may have lead to demands nothing short of bifurcation of a flourishing state.

Now, a united Andhra appears to be impossible. As much it would be less fair to leave Hyderabad as a capital exclusively to any one of the divided states. To make Hyderabad available to people of all regions as a facility for employment, education and health care even for settlement sounds reasonable.

Hopefully, the least hurdle one may find to create a separate state for Telangana will be in retaining Hyderabad as a joint capital. On its gaining statehood, Telangana will have its own Assembly, enact its own laws to govern its territories, plan their revenue, decide on budget allocations on various projects, be it infrastructure, irrigation, industry, education, health care etc. Sharing river waters, provisions for Assembly building, secretariat and other departmental buildings can be sorted out with due cooperation and coordination between the people and governments.

We need more statesmen than mere politicians. To lessen the impact of Bifurcation, Centre's aid too is vital for the development of all regions.

Adivasis and T identity

Adivasis have a long and proud history that includes rich historical and cultural linkage with natural resources. This unwritten relationship, however, has been altered or even taken away upon the arrival of non-tribal settlers from plain areas

This is in response to the article written by Rama Melkote entitled “Telangana has regional identity and distinct culture” published in these columns on August 20. The opinion of the author is that “the Telangana identity represents a consolidation of the identities of castes and communities, their cultural and material desires and the demand for political power to govern themselves in their own state” which is questionable on both the factual and legal grounds. The view taken in the article opens up a broad vista for mischief and threat to the survival of Adivasis.
The author under the claim of Telangana State undermines the Adivasis who have distinct cultural, regional identity, and disintegrated class among the other non-Adivasis in the Telangana or Seemandhra. Unfortunately the State is witnessing the main discourse of intellectuals, people’s representatives on several issues in relation to either Seemandhra or Telangana, masking the Schedule V Areas of the Constitution, which located within the geographical boundaries of Andhra Pradesh. There is no difference in exploiting the Adivasis by non-tribal communities either of Telangana or Seemandhra regions. In other words, the question that is required to be posed and answered would be how Telangana identity can represent the Adivasis belonging to the Scheduled Areas of Andhra Pradesh?
The Scheduled Areas (Part ‘A’ States) Order, 1950 and the Scheduled Areas (Part ‘B’ States) Order, 1950 were issued declaring certain areas as Scheduled Areas in Part ‘A’ and Part ‘B’ States respectively. Part ‘A’ States refers to the Scheduled Areas of Andhra region while Part ‘B’ States refers to Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh State. Through these orders, the provisions of the Fifth Schedule were made applicable to the Scheduled Areas of Andhra Pradesh. The Governor may make regulations for the peace and good governance of any area in a State which is presently a Scheduled Area. The object of the Fifth Schedule is to preserve tribal autonomy and their culture, to help in their economic empowerment, to ensure social, economic and political justice for preservation of peace and good governance in the Scheduled Areas. But the hopes are belied. Thus the tribal self rule in their regions is sole alternative to executive governance.
The Scheduled Area extends over 31,485.34 sq. km in the districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Warangal, Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari, Khammam, Adilabad and Mahaboobnagar districts constituting the traditional habitat of nearly 30 tribal groups. The tribal groups of Yerukula, Yanadi and Sugali or Lambada live mainly in the plain areas outside the Scheduled Areas. The Gonds are found in the Scheduled Areas of Adilabad District in the extreme Gondwana region adjoining the districts of Maharashtra. The Koya-Konda Reddi region includes areas along the Godavari gorges, tribal areas of Warangal, Khammam, West Godavari and East Godavari Districts. The Khond-Savara region constitutes those tribal areas which are part of the Eastern Ghats, spreading across the forest and hill tracts of Srikakulam to Visakhapatnam District. The Chenchu region comprises the tribal areas of Mahaboobnagar district. The traditional habitat of the Chenchus is the contiguous forest tracts of Nallamalai Hills.
Their main occupation is agriculture, breeding of cattle; they are conspicuous by their primitive traits, distinct culture, geographical isolation, extreme backwardness, and shyness of contact. Although agriculture continues to be the main source of livelihood for majority of the tribals, large tracts of tribal land are concentrated in the hands of predominantly elite non-tribal sections of society. Consequently, tribals are marginalised and deprived of their traditional land rights.
Adivasis have a long and proud history that includes rich historical and cultural linkage with natural resources. This unwritten relationship, however, has been altered or even taken away upon the arrival of non-tribal settlers from plain areas. The non-tribal population which constitutes 57.2% in the Scheduled Areas of Andhra Pradesh demonstrates the inexorable influx of non-tribals since the pre-independence era. The gravity of the tribal land alienation may be gauged from the fact that today non-tribals own more than half of the land in the Scheduled Areas of the State.
The cultivable holdings of non-tribals are 52% in Khammam, 60% in Adilabad and 71% in Warangal Districts, despite the protective Land Transfer Regulations 1 of 70 which prohibits transfer of lands not only between tribals, and non-tribals, but also among the non-tribals. Who are these non-tribals? Are they be part of Telanagana or not? How can we consolidate these population who are continuing their vicious, unscrupulous, dubious practices in exploiting the tribal communities, and pushing to margins.
How Telangana as such will integrate the inequalities, disparities between the Adivasis in Scheduled Areas and plains under a broad umbrella of Telangana State without respecting their cultural identity, symbiotic relationship with natural resources, and self autonomy. The coal- based industries, sponge iron factory, cement factories, Bhadrachalam ITC, and several other plantation industries located in the Scheduled Areas of Telangana, are violating the tribal protective land transfer regulations.
In the post-Independence decades, public and private enterprises encroached upon the indigenous peoples’ traditional domains, extracting minerals and timber and building dams and roads. Displaced in the name of progress, the indigenous people find their identities destroyed and their traditional livelihoods difficult to sustain.
Now the fears of Adivasis in Andhra Pradesh are a result UPA linking creation of two states with national status to the controversial Polavaram project. Polavaram project is faced with several cases pending against it in the Supreme Court on issues related to violation of several laws related to Tribals, Environment Protection, Forest, etc.
Two neighboring state governments, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, have also challenged the project in the Supreme Court. Adivasi groups from Adilabad to Srikalulam districts in Andhra Pradesh are once again demanding withdrawal of the disastrous Polavaram project, not only as continuation of the two-decades old struggle but also because of new threats to their identity and threats to constitutional safeguards from the forces demanding bifurcation of the states reducing tribals as commodities.
There is every possibility that current controversy is going to add tribal angle also as the new states are not going to address the problems of inequalities, exploitation and marginality but likely to aggravate these conflicts. Thus Telangana cannot represent the identity of Adivasis or their regions. Therefore Scheduled V Areas should be excluded from the geographical division of Andhra Pradesh.
(The writer, an advocate, is a tribal rights activist. ptrinadharao@sify.com)
Key lies in planning, implementation and political resolve
The fall in the number of SC hostels and inmates in Telangana may prompt one to point the finger at the agrarian crisis and rising levels of poverty
The people of Andhra are in a charged situation, following the announcement of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) favouring the creation of Telangana. The proposed division has witnessed emotional reactions and raised expectations. There could not have been a better time to put the various findings of the Srikrishna Committee Report before the people for public debate. The Hans India deserves praise for initiating it.
Going by the report, one can say that the charge of discrimination on geographical basis is quite baseless. All regions in the State have their own advantages and disadvantages. Due to the trickle-down effect or the catching up phenomenon, the literacy and education levels are rising faster in the surrounding districts of Hyderabad than elsewhere in the State; whereas irrigation by tanks and canals is high in coastal Andhra.
However, the Telangana region recorded a higher percentage of growth in irrigation facilities by major projects after 1956 than other areas. (Srikrishna Report says: Telangana 713%; Seema 390% and coastal Andhra 101%. Ref.page 113, Figure, 4.6).
The fall in the number of SC hostels and inmates in Telangana may prompt one to point the finger at the agrarian crisis and rising levels of poverty.
One can come to the conclusion that a comprehensive planning mechanism, effective implementing machinery and a strong political resolve are lacking in toto to tap greater benefits from available resources. If they are in place, the merger or demerger will be of little value.
(The author is Associate Professor, MIMS, Nellimarla, Vizianagaram)
Need for Central govt to manage natural resources
Rayalaseema has no perennial rivers. It is a drought-stricken area. So it requires water. This region depends upon rainfed crops.
OVN Gupta
The Srikrishna Committee only studied statistics regarding the water resources of the three regions of Andhra Pradesh, i.e. Coastal, Telangana and Rayalaseema. It gave the statistics regarding irrigation, rivers, tanks, power production, etc. of the past; for example, statistics for 1955-56 and 2007-2008 regarding water resources and extension of cultivation in lakhs of hectares.
It is nothing but the gathering of figures. Mere gathering of figures will not solve the problem. The Central government should take over the water resources of all three regions; if in any region water is found excess that must be equally distributed to the other two regions.
Therefore, natural resources, such as water (rivers, tanks, canals, etc.) and power generation and distribution must be in the hands of the Central government for justice to be done to all regions. Rayalaseema has no perennial rivers. It is a drought-stricken area. So it requires water. This region depends upon rainfed crops. The KC Canal cannot irrigate paddy and sugarcane.
Telangana is full of bore-wells, the committee said. Not only Telangana, Hyderabad and each and every village are also depending on bore-wells and water table is going down every year. The given statistics are not useful for debate. What the committee concludes after the collection of these statistics has to be published for a meaningful debate. On the other hand, after collecting opinions of different persons, the majority members' opinions should be taken into consideration by the committee.
So, even in the absence of such committees and reports, "public opinion" column can be conducted collecting statistics from the statistical data department of the regions and the State. After collecting these statistics (as published in The Hans India, Page 7, August 15) the opinion of the Srikrishna Committee also must be published for readers to comment upon. Without that, mere placing of statistics is not sufficient for debate.
(The writer is Vice President, State AP Technical Institutes Association, Madanapalle, Chittoor Dist.)

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