ANDHRA PRADESH

Good response to gram sabhas in tribal villages

VISAKHAPATNAM, AUG. 21. The Police Department has claimed that the response to its gram sabhas being organised in 16 mandals of the Visakhapatnam agency region since August 9 is overwhelming.

According to a department spokesman, various officials, including the MRO and MPDO, were attending the gram sabhas and receiving applications from the tribals. Local problems were also being resolved then and there wherever possible, he added.

``There were many requests for supply of tiles for roofs and drinking water. The Police Department earlier responded to a request of Aratichetla Veedhi residents in G.K. Veedhi mandal and dug a borewell which has prompted the general public to request that a similar facility be extended to them,'' he said.

Tribals' requests

Among the other demands from the tribals were laying of roads, ban on arrack, books for school children and power supply. The police were taking these to the notice of the officials concerned, he said. ``The Visakhapatnam District Superintendent of Police, Sanjay Kumar Jain, has also suggested maintaining a special record on the gram sabhas for the purpose,'' he said.

The gram sabhas were now being held close to road points.

Free sports equipment was being supplied to tribal youth and so far 50 cricket and over 100 volleyball kits were distributed among them. Efforts were also on to provide books to residential schools for starting a small-scale library at each school, the spokesman said.