Tribal district with Bhadrachalam as headquarters sought

In the wake of separate Telangana announcement, the demand for a ‘Manyaseema State’ has gained momentum. Representatives of the original Adivasis residing in the Scheduled Areas at a roundtable on ‘Adivasi Swayampalana’here on Sunday demanded creation of a ‘Manyaseema State’ comprising Scheduled Areas of Andhra Pradesh.

They also demanded measures for protection of Scheduled Area rights in the wake of formation of Telangana state.

About 75 representatives from 15 Adivasi Associations from Kurnool, Adilabad, Vizianagarm, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, East, West Godavari, Khammam and Warangal districts participated in the roundtable which was presided over by Kaniti Lakshmana Rao, State president of Adivasi Sena.

Geddam Syam Kumar, secretary of State Steering Committee of Adivasi Associations, said the roundtable demanded merger of Scheduled V areas of Khammam with Andhra and a new tribal district comprising Khammam, West Godavari and East Godavari should be formed with Bhadrachalam as its headquarters. Mr. Syam Kumar said the meeting also asked the government to get consent of Gramsabhas for exploitation of natural resources . The speakers at the roundtable said formation of Telangana state will split the Scheduled Areas into two and the political clout of the original tribes will decrease significantly and Khammam district which has the largest Scheduled Area comprising 29 mandals will become part of Telangana. The representatives of the original Adivasis residing in the Scheduled Areas demanded the Union government to hear their views on the issues of Scheduled areas before going ahead with the process of formation of Telangana state. They cautioned that any hasty decision without consulting them would have grave long term repercussions.