Deccan Chronicle

  • AVKA opposes bauxite mining

    The Andhra Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram (AVKA) strongly opposed any move from the state government to promote exploration for bauxite by corporates in the tribal areas of the district. On the last day of the 3-day conclave of the Ashram on Sunday, they passed a resolution opposing the move by the government on mining that causes heavy displacement of tribals, heavy destruction of forest wealth and affects the environment.

  • Plan to check water problem

    The district administration is chalking out a strategy to mitigate the drinking water problem in the district, said district collector Sridhar here on Monday. The collector visited the municipal corporation offi-ce and inspected various de-partments. Mayor Parusu-ram, deputy mayor Sriramulu, commissioner Naga-bhushanam, health officer Adiseshu accompanied the collector.

  • Rs 1 cr for meal in forests scheme

    Beggars have got Rs 95 lakh in the state Budget. The government has sanctioned the amount for rehabilitation of beggars in 2008-09. Rs 75 lakhs and Rs 20 lakhs will be given for maintenance and construction of homes for beggars respectively. This decision follows directions of the High Court.

  • Compensation denied to project canal evacuees

    Officials who procured land for construction of a canal under the Handri-Neeva Sujala Sravanti (HNSS) project at Gargeyapuram village in the mandal, refused to pay compensation for about 50 acres, saying that it was government land. Mr Ravindra Reddy, a farmer, said their elders had purchased about 50 acres in the village about 40 years ago. He said officials had given pattadar passbooks for the lands and they had taken bank loans using them. Mr Ravindra Reddy said eight other farmers were also cultivating the land. He said officials had paid Rs 95,000 per acre as compensation to other farmers in the village whose lands were acquired. Mr Ravindra Reddy said officials had promised to give them similar compensation and after three years told them that no compensation would be given. He said farmers, who were cultivating the lands, had no other land and didn't know how to repay their bank loans. Mr Ravindra Reddy said they had been paying land tax for the lands for the last 40 years. He said officials were also refusing to pay compensation being given to those cultivating government land to them. Mr Ravindra Reddy said they would search for alternate livelihood if compensation was paid to them and warned that they would have to commit suicide along with their family members if aid was denied.

  • Protest against survey for Science City

    Land survey taken up for construction of a Science City in Amadagur and Obuladevaracheruvu mandals in Anantapur district has become controversial. The survey works were recently handed over to the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC). Eight teams from the APIIC have taken up land survey in Amadagur mandal. While the Congress leaders are responding favourably to the survey, the Telugu Desam leaders are raising several objections. They staged a rasta roko and dharna in Amadagur two days ago, protesting against land acquisition for the project. There are 42,897 acres in Amadagur mandal with 7,000 survey numbers. There are 9,630.26 acres for 1,520 survey numbers in Tummala village, 1,568.83 acres of land in Yerigivaripalle and a similar extent of land in Pulukuntapalli. Survey is also being taken up in Lokojupalli, Karimireddypalli, Dademvaripalli, Amadagur, Sikirevulapalli, Chinaganipalli, Kassamudram, Mahmadabad, J.K.Palli, Koragattupalli and other villages. Congress leaders say that most farmers are ready to sell their lands while TD leaders deny this.

  • Civil defence system to fight natural calamities

    The state government has decided to strengthen the civil defence system to tackle man-made and natural disasters. It is proposing to give two acres of land at the existing AP Fire Services Academy in Vattinagulapally to set up the Civil Defence Training Institute. The Centre will provide funds for construction of the institute. Sources in the home department said the plan was to merge the civil defence system with the fire and emergency services department. Initially, training will be given to volunteers from all major cities in the state. Following this, volunteers from villages will be given training. A senior official said the government wanted to make civil defence system the first response or first level defence network in case of any disaster or calamity. "Volunteers who are trained at the institute in Vattinagulapally will be paid a stipend during the training period,' said the official. "But they will be paid honorarium only when their services are utilised,' he added. At present, the civil defence in Hyderabad comes within the ambit of the city police commissionerate. Training is being imparted to volunteers in fire fighting, rescue operations, first aid and air raid precautions.

  • Unions oppose land acquisition

    The unions of public sector units are opposed to entrusting land belonging to AP Steel Factory to private agencies for developing it. The land is located in Paloncha town and several private companies vied for it. It is valued at over Rs 100 crore. The workers union of Sponge Iron India Limited has been demanding that the government allocate the land for the expansion of Sponge Iron India Limited. Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation acquired the land in survey numbers 442, 443, 444 in Paloncha to set up a steel factory when Jalagam Vengala Rao was the chief minister. SIIL Officers Union leader K. Gopi Krishna said that the Central government is making efforts to merge the SIIL with National Mineral Development Corporation. He said additional land would be needed for the expansion of SIIL after merging it with NMDC. "Thousands of jobs would be created with the expansion,' he said. SIIL has sent proposals for setting up another sponge iron unit with a capacity of two lakh tonnes at a cost of Rs 320 crore, a captive power plant with a capacity of 45mw, induction furnace and casting machine to the government for ratification. SIIL was incurring losses till 2002 and has been earning profits for the last four years. Because of the development, NMDC planned to merge it and expand it. The increasing demand for sponge iron is also one of the reasons for the expansion of SIIL. SIIL Supervisors Association president D. Chennamallu said, "The workers wanted to shape Paloncha into a steel town by expanding SIIL.' He said the unions would oppose any gesture of handing over the land to real estate companies. Indian National Trade Union Congress leader Shaik Jaleel said the unions decided to submit a memorandum on the issue to the Chief Minister soon in Hyderabad. "The SIIL would get a boost if the land is given for expansion,' he said.

  • 600-acre land in Kakinada eroded by sea

    Over 600 acres of land in the Kakinada suburbs have disappeared in the last four decades because of sea erosion. Residents of villages such as Uppada, Komaragiri, Subbam Peta and surrounding areas in the Kothapally mandal are deeply worried at the continuing erosion of the coastline. Successive governments have taken no permanent measures to avert sea erosion. Komaragiri lost 349.29 acres of land to the sea, Uppada 126.58 acres and Subbumpeta 129.48 acres along with other villages. Uppada and nearby villages also suffer heavily whenever cyclones and storms occur. In the recent cyclone, tidal waves destroyed 1,200 houses including pucca buildings. It is mostly fisherfolk and small farmers who are affected by the vagaries of weather. A study conducted in 1992 by the Central Water Power Research Station of Pune revealed that the Hope Island which was formed near Kakinada with was responsible for the continuing sea erosion. The island is blocking the natural movement of waves and this is causing sea erosion. However, it was the same island which saved Kakinada from the Tsunami attack. The survey also revealed that the construction of a fishing harbour at Vakalapudi and berths in Kakinada deep water port had also contributed to the sea erosion. The 50 km coastal road from Kakinada to Addaripeta too has been affected by the phenomenon and has been repaired about 18 times. "Construction of a strong concrete wall is the only solution to this,' said Mr Rao Chinna Rao, president of the Kothapalli Water Users Association. Leaders of the fishing community including Mr Bandana Ram Babu echoed the views. "We repaired the bunds in 2007 but the erosion continues,' said Mr C. N. Murty, executive engineer of the Kakinada roads and buildings department.

  • State to form agri commission

    The minister for agriculture, Mr N. Raghuveera Reddy, said an Agriculture Regulatory Commission would be appointed to decide payment of bonus for various crops in the state. Speaking to newsmen here on Thursday, he said that the state government has decided to pay minimum support price and bonus for various crops. Mr Raghuveera Reddy said the Chief Minister, Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, and he had studied various benefits being provided to farmers in China, Israel, America and other countries. The minister said the government has decided to directly pay bonus to farmers. He said subsidy and bonus would be directly credited to the bank accounts of farmers as was being done in other countries. The minister said the government would initiate a discussion on establishment of regulatory commission in Legislative Assembly and Council. After taking into consideration suggestions given by farmers unions, Opposition parties and experts, the government would take steps to help farmers, the minister added. He said a study was also being conducted to help tenant farmers, who were facing problems. The minister said for the first time in the country loans were being directly given to tenant farmers in the state. So far, loans were given to 75,000 tenant farmers in the state, he added. Mr Raghuveera Reddy said there were more tenant farmers in Prakasam district. He said 50,000 ideal farmers would be selected and 4,500 rythu sanghams would be formed in the state. The minister said specific plans would be formulated to strengthen agriculture from village-level. Mr Raghuveera Reddy said it was shameful for Telugu Desam (TD) leader N. Chandrababu Naidu to announce that he had a great plan to help farmers. The minister said that state farmers were unhappy with the statement of Mr Naidu, who during his nine-year-old rule had detested farmers. Mr Raghuveera Reddy said the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) leaders had resigned from their posts due to fear that they would lose their existence in Telangana. He said the Congress was ready to face by-elections in the seats vacated by the TRS leaders and the party would abide by the decision of the people.

  • Land Ceiling Bill finds no place on list

    The much-talked-about Bill to repeal the Urban Land Ceiling Act may not be taken up in the current session of the Assembly.

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