Tribals of various habitations located in the merged mandals on the Andhra Pradesh-Telangana borders allege that neither government was taking care of them during the Godavari floods.
“Our villages are cut off from the mainland, and we are suffering a lot. But no government is coming to our rescue,” complain many victims.
“Post bifurcation of the State, Velerupadu, Kukunur and other mandals were merged with the residual A.P. But we don’t know in which State we are now, as no government is helping us,” says a woman S. Varamma.
The villagers demand that the government lay roads, provide electricity, construct houses and extend medical and drinking water facilities to the hamlets located on the borders.
“We staged protests demanding better facilities in the habitations. But there has been no response. The MPs, Tribal Welfare Minister and the local MLA should take the problems to the notice of the government,” the villagers urged.
About 80% of the people are Koya and Kondareddy tribes who eke out a living from cultivation, tourism, fishing and collection of forest produce. They have to travel more than 50 kilometres to sell their products.
“People living in the border villages are prone to viral fevers and communicable diseases during floods. But there are no proper medical facilities for us. We also do not have Anganwadi Centres and good schools for our children,” complains a tribal P. Ramana of Koida village.
“Though the problems were taken to the notice of the ITDA and the Tribal Welfare Department officials, no action has been taken. We are living in the forests under constant fear due to poor infrastructure and lack of transportation, housing and other facilities,” according to a villager K. Purushottam.
“Officers rarely visit our hamlets, and forget our problems as soon as they leave the place. When we contacted the officers of Bhadradri-Kothagudem district during the floods, they said that our villages come under A.P. Even when our cattle and valuables were in peril the Telangana officers did not arrange boats. On the other hand, our habitations were completely cut off from the district and mandal headquarters in A.P.,” lamented a youth, Sode Srinu.