Tribals of various habitations, located in the merged mandals on Andhra Pradesh-Telangana borders allege that both the governments were not taking care of them during Godavari floods.
“Our villages were cut-off from the mainland, and we are suffering a lot. But, no government was coming to our rescue,” said the villagers of the merged mandals.
“Post bifurcation of the Telugu States, Velerupadu, Kukunur and other mandals were merged into Andhra Pradesh. But, we don’t know in which State we are in now, as no government was taking care of us,” said S. Varamma.
The villagers demanded the government to lay roads, provide electricity, construct houses and extend medical and drinking water facilities to the hamlets located on borders.
“We staged protests demanding to improve facilities in the habitations located on the merged mandals. But, there was no response. The Members of Parliament, 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 were Koya and Kondareddy tribes and were eking out their livelihood on cultivation, tourism, fishing and collection of forest produce. But, they have to travel more than 50 kilometres to sell their products, they said.
“Villagers living in the border villages were prone to viral fevers and communicable diseases during floods. But, there is no proper medical facility and no Anganwadi Centres and good schools for our children,” said 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 with constant fear due to poor infrastructure, transportation, housing and other facilities,” said a villager K. Purushottam.
Officers hardly visit our hamlets, they come rarely and forget our problems after leaving the villages. When we contacted the officers of Bhadradri-Kothagudem district during floods, they said that our villages come under AP.
“Even when we said that our cattle and valuables were in floods and requested for help during Godavari floods, the Telangana officers did not arrange boats, and our habitations were completely cut-off from the district and mandal headquarters in AP,” said a youth, Sode Srinu.