Merger of Six Scheduled Area Villages with VMRDA Opposed

'Including these villages would mean they are deprived of Rights and authorities bestowed upon them by the constitution.'

13 non-agency mandals in Visakhapatnam are included in Visakhapatnam Metropolitan Development Authority (VMRDA); A Government Order No. 20 dated March 23, is issued by the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department. Chammachinta, Dharmavaram Agraharam, Kalavoddu Sarabhavaram, Kuruvada, Pattinagannadora Palem and Sarugudu are the six scheduled villages of Nathavaram mandal that are in the list attached with the said G.O. These villages are Scheduled areas. 

Ajay Kumar, National Secretary, All India Agricultural and Rural Labor Union (AIARLA) Severely condemned the state government’s decision for the merger of these tribal villages in VMRDA. He demanded that the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government immediately exempt scheduled and non-scheduled tribal villages from the G.O. Kumar said, ‘In the G.O, the government has claimed that urbanization is taking place in Thirteen (13) Mandals but has given no evidence of it.’ 

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Taking example of a tribal village called ‘Salisingam’ in Ravikamatam Mandal, he says that the patients are carried to hospitals on dollies as road facility is nonexistent even now. During the reign of Jalagam Vengala Rao, the Cabinet of Ministers of State had passed the resolution 58/76, Dated 10-03-1976 seeking merger of 91 nonscheduled villages in the district in the scheduled area. He said there were 6 scheduled villages in Natavaram Mandal, 91 proposed tribal villages were in 8 zones and 55 villages were included under the Urban Development Authority as per G.O 20. 

Ajay Kumar demanded that 6 scheduled villages and 55 non-scheduled villages be brought under the purview of the ITDA outside VMRDA. Today at 11 am the tribal youth organised a demonstration against G.O 20. It started from Boddepalli Center after garlanding the statue of Dr. BR Ambedkar and proceeded to Sub-collector’s office where they submitted a petition to the Sub-Collector, Narsipatnam. Kottapalli Apparao, All India Agricultural & Rural Labor Union (AIARLA) National Working Committee Member, Majji Nukaraju and CPI (ML) State Committee Member K. Janardhan participated on behalf of the 5th Schedule sadhana Committee. 

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According to the report in the Hindu, in principle, extension of APMRDA Act to the Scheduled areas is violative of the provisions of the Panchayat (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1986 (PESA) and the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA) which have Conferred special authority on the local adivasi Gram Sabhas in all matters, including decisions on projects, forestry schemes and development planning. 

The Human Rights Forum has noted that including these villages would mean they are deprived of Rights and authorities bestowed upon them by the constitution. 

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