Societies formed to give jobs in sandmining hitherto handled by non-tribals and contractors

A small intervention from kind-hearted bureaucrats made a life-changing impact on scores of tribal families who eke out a primitive mode of life in these agency tracts of Warangal district.

Vast stretches of dry beds of the Godavari are worth more than a gold mine and these had been exploited by non-tribals and wealthy contractors quarrying the sand. The tribals have remained mute spectators to this all these years while the contractors plundered the resource and made crores of rupees.

A tribal youth of Ramnagar in Eturunagaram mandal, Avula Adinarayana, said hundreds of lorries trudged the mud roads criss-crossing their hamlets day and night. “We just wondered whether the wealth does not belong to us. We did not even get work to load the lorries. But, thanks to Joint Collector V. Karuna and Andhra Pradesh Mineral Development Corporation Managing Director Praveen Prakash, now we own everything here,” he said.

The contractors had been paying a meagre Rs. 45 per cubic metre to mine the sand. They pay a total of Rs.800 to Rs.1,200 per lorry load which they sell at Rs.12,000 to Rs.15,000 in Warangal, and Rs.25,000 and beyond in Hyderabad. The contractors roughly made Rs.2 crore to Rs.3 crore a month. The district administration has empowered the tribals of Chunchupalli village in Mangapet mandal and Ramnagar village in Eturunagaram mandal, and helped them form cooperative societies.

The Integrated Tribal Development Agency helped them in obtaining temporary permits from the APMDC to mine the sand from the river.

The Chenchulaxmi Tribal Sand Quarry Society has a strength of 364 as all adults of the tribal families are members.

The Ramnagar Labour Society has 130 tribal members from 50 families of Koya, Lambada and Naik Pod sects.