Kakinada: The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes has issued notices to Andhra Pradesh chief secretary, water resources secretary, the department of river development and Ganga rejuvenation, the department of RD&GR and East Godavari district collector on the basis of a petition filed by former MLA Seethamsetti Venkateswara Rao regarding the problems of the Polavaram-displaced and Polavaram-affected families.
In a petition to the Commission, complainant Venkateswara Rao alleged that tribal people of PDFs of VR Puram and Kunavaram mandals of East Godavari are forcibly displaced without providing them the rehabilitation and resettlement benefits and moving them to other districts.
The state government is going to evacuate 1,724 scheduled Tribe PDFs from 18+1 villages in VR Puram and Kunavaram mandals in a time-bound manner without considering the ground realities, and in haste, in order to please their political bosses, he said.
He said 542 Scheduled Tribe project-displaced families of VR Puram mandal have been asked to move from East Godavari to West Godavari district. “The exact location of resettlement is not properly identified and the affected STs have no knowledge of the topography of the places to dwell.”
“It is mandatory on the part of the state as well as the commissioner of R&R to ensure that the affected families of the STs shall be resettled in the same scheduled area in a compact block to retain their ethnic, linguistic and cultural identity but not otherwise.”
“It is imperative to prepare a resettlement plan in consonance of the Central Act 30 of 2013 in consultation with the affected ST families and the Grama Sabha. But, in the case of merger of mandals from Telangana to Andhra Pradesh, the land acquisition as well as the R&R authorities are choosing not to pass awards to each affected family as was envisaged in Chapter V of the act.
He requested the commission to do justice by directing the government that ST PDFs shall be resettled in the same scheduled area nearer to their river and forest in a compact block to retain their ethnic, linguistic and cultural identity.
The government issued notices to the officials to submit the facts and information on the action taken on the allegations and other matters within 15 days....