EARLIEST ASTRONOMICAL OBSERVATORY of India or South Asia: 80 Menhirs of 5000 BC found in Mudumal village in Telangana గురువారం, అక్టో 27 2016 

MEGALITH FROM 5000 BC FOUND IN TELANGANA

P Pavan, Mumbai Mirror | Oct 24, 2016

Hyderabad: In a significant discovery, historians and archaeologists have found what they describe as the only megalithic site in India, where a depiction of star constellation has been identified. The site was discovered in Mudumal village in Telangana and is estimated to date back to 5000 BC.

No other site in India has so many menhirs concentrated at one place, claim the historians and archaeologists who also believe that this is “undoubtedly the earliest astronomical observatory found in India or even south Asia”.

A cup-mark depiction of Ursa Major was noticed on a squarish stone planted vertically. About 30 cup-marks were arranged in a pattern similar to the appearance of Ursa Major in the sky. Not only the prominent seven stars, but also the peripheral groups of stars are depicted on the menhirs.

Mudumal contains about 80 big menhirs as tall as 12 to 14 feet, and about 2000 alignment stones of about 1-2 feet high. These menhirs, alignments and stone circles are spread out in about 80 acres of land. The central portion contains the maximum concentration of Menhirs, explains Dr. K Pulla Rao, who has been researching the site for over 11 years. A team of archaeologists from Korea will be visiting the site in December, according to the officials of the Telangana Archaeology Department.

State archaeology director Visalakshi inspected the site on Saturday and directed the officials to fence the area that has not been protected so far.

source: http://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/news/india/Megalith-from-5000-BC-found-in-Telangana/articleshow/55020149.cms

Hyderabad traffic woes- Singapore skywalks & flyovers are no solution ఆదివారం, జన 10 2016 

 

Hyderabad City in Dire Need of China Wall Dividers on Roads

Purnima Sriram, The New Indian Express, 7th January 2016

Increasing density in traffic is  choking roads in the city, a concern shared by every emerging metropolitan in India. A recent survey by cab company Ola states  that that the average car driving speed in Hyderabad is 19 kmph during peak hours. We are only better  than Bengaluru (18) and Kolkata (17) which have been rated as slowest of all metros. But every problem demands a ‘smart’solution and if we can swear by Telangana government’s  word, then Hyderabad has aced the required solutions to meet  the high density traffic demands of city.

The state  government recently announced multi-level flyovers, skywalks and signal-less junctions will  be developed at 54 places in the city. But will these solutions be effective to tackle traffic woes in the city? Answering to this question Laxman  Rao, HOD of JNTU Civil Engg department, which teaches traffic management as a core subject said,  “The state of traffic management plan is absolutely poor. Around 25 lakh vehicles interacting on these  corridors per day and put to a delay of more than 15 minutes of delay on an average. When we calculate value of travel time it records to `4,000  crore per annum is the congestion price which includes vehicle operating cost, value of person to that time , health etc. Local area planning with  demand, supply, and system analysis are to be conducted. Critical locations  are to be treated with technology and personnel traffic management by L& T people. Pedestrians are to be facilitated at most importance on side walk and continuity of side  walk,” he said. He also suggested a few practices that would surely be effective to control the nerve wrecking traffic. (మరింత…)

Bike taxis for Hyderabad మంగళవారం, డిసెం 15 2015 

Bike Taxi, Anyone?

Purnima Sriram, The New Indian Express, 8 December 2015

Goa-style bike taxies, or bike as a taxi could soon be a reality in Hyderabad. Recently the Haryana government had given a nod to  ‘Baxi’ service as commuter-friendly initiative and the twin cities could expect one soon.

Venkateshwarlu, RTA Joint Commissioner, said there is a scheme in Hyderabad that allows the commuters to rent a bike and drive around. “Jain from Four Wheel Travels has already availed the license to rent bikes varying from a CD Delux to Harley Davidson and many more. This is not exactly termed as ‘Bike Taxi’ but it is rent a bike scheme. There is surely a scheme, where there is a possibility to register the bike as taxi bike. They can take the license to run the bike as taxi.”

Considering it takes a minimum of 45 minutes for a four-wheeler just to cross the arterial roads of Patny to Banjara Hills, Balkampet to Balanagar, Hi-tech city to Kukatpally stretches, many four-wheeler owners envy the motorists who sneak in between the  itsy-bitsy gap between two cars to zig-zag away to their destination. This is a familiar trait in all cities in the country. Will the concept work in our city?

Bharat Bhushan Mamidi of Hyderabad Urban Labs,  an organisation designed to develop smarter responses to the challenges of contemporary urbanization,  said, “Hyderabad with unprecedented growth rates compared to any city in the country, obviously offers enormous scope for different alternative modes of transport. All options not only can be tried but also are feasible with the growing menace of traffic jams in the city. This includes making city roads safe for the people who walk to their work place. They are about 30 per cent of the total commuters. Hyderabad people have been active in choosing different options. Response to the growing number of cabs in the city is one example of it. Cost of travel by some cabs is relatively cheaper than auto rickshaw.” (మరింత…)

Displacing Godavari and Its People – Polavaram Dam శుక్రవారం, నవం 6 2015 

Book review
When Godavari Comes: People’s History of a River–Journeys in the Zone of the Dispossessed by R Uma Maheshwari, New Delhi: Aakar Books, 2014; pp 486 + xviii, Rs 595.

N Venugopal (venugopalraon@yahoo.com) is the editor of Veekshanam, a Telugu monthly journal of political economy and society.

Polavaram multipurpose irrigation project across the Godavari River is likely to displace more than 3,00,000 people, mostly Adivasis, by submerging over 300 habitations. It will also submerge forests with rich biodiversity, a hill range, a river and several streams, agricultural lands, and cultural sites. The highly controversial project, first envisaged in the 1940s under the colonial government, was actually taken up by the Government of Andhra Pradesh in 2006, without proper sanctions and clearances from many statutory bodies. The project violates safeguards provided to Adivasis in the Constitution as well as several legislations, including the Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act (PESA), 1996, the Forest Rights Act, 2006 and the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

The works on the project began and continued without approvals like clearance for revised costs by the Expenditure (Finance) Committee; Central Electrical Authority’s clearance for power component; approvals from gram sabhas in the submergence areas in Odisha and Chhattisgarh states; approval of Forest (Conservation) Act for submergence areas in Odisha and Chhattisgarh; techno-economic clearance from the Central Water Commission (CWC); and CWC approval for dam design and operation schedule. In fact, the project is under litigation with several cases pending in the Supreme Court (SC) filed by governments of Chhattisgarh and Odisha as well as environmental and Adivasi groups. The project is also in violation of the National Tribal Policy as it violates the direction, “any project which displaces more than 50,000 tribal people should not be taken up.” In 2006, the SC appointed a Central Empowered Committee (CEC) to study the concerns and the CEC report said,
there is, therefore, a strong case for a second thought and explore alternative location and design of the dam to avoid the colossal loss in terms of apprehended sufferings and disruption of life style of the local inhabitants.

Tussle between States

Despite these counterpoints, the Government of Andhra Pradesh continued the works without any respect for the legal process, technical objections and social debate. The people’s movement for bifurcation of the state and formation of Telangana somewhat slowed down the pace of the works and during the movement, many Telangana votaries including Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) opposed the construction of the dam, primarily on the displacement plank. However, when the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill was moved in Parliament, recognition to Polavaram as a national project was mooted. The leaders of would-be Andhra Pradesh expressed suspicion that Telangana may oppose the project and raise litigation if the to-be submerged villages are left in Telangana and sought the villages to be given to Andhra Pradesh. All the villages passed resolutions in their gram sabhas to retain them in Telangana.

The bill became an Act in February and in May, the new government that came to power in Delhi promulgated an ordinance favouring the demand of Andhra Pradesh, transferring six mandals and some villages. Telangana immediately responded with a bandh called by the ruling party TRS against the ordinance, but, later the ordinance (amendment to the act) was almost accepted, without even challenging it in a court of law. The funniest part is that the “people’s representative” elected by the transferred villages now sits in Telangana Assembly while the people he is supposed to represent live in another state!

Movement and Resistance

Thus, Polavaram is a classic case of Adivasi displacement, deception, violation of laws, political gimmicks, constitutional and legal improprieties, corruption, etc. Notwithstanding this unique position, the comprehensive story of Polavaram is yet to be told. Over the last decade, it occupied a large space in local language media but not the deserving attention of the country. Though the people in the submergence zone as well as outside have been fighting against this gross injustice, the people’s movements against displacement have not attracted national attention. In this context, When Godavari Comes: People’s History of a River by R Umamaheshwari is a much-needed and remarkable attempt based on a number of journeys the author made in the zone of the dispossessed during five years between 2006 and 2010 and updating her story till mid-2014. (మరింత…)

Gumnami Baba or Netaji Subhas Bose మంగళవారం, సెప్టెం 8 2015 

Subhas Chandra Bose1Sep 08 2015 : The Times of India (Hyderabad)

ENDURING ENIGMA – Britain spread canard: Netaji an MI-6 agent
Kingshuk Nag

Sought To Discredit Him In The Eyes of Soviets Yet Soviet Intel Thought He Was Best Bet In India

Late In June 1993, Ajai Malhotra, then Information Counsellor at the Indian Embassy in Moscow, was despatched by the ambassador to the offices of the bi-monthly `Asia and Africa Today’ to investigate whether the magazine was proposing to run a story alleging that Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose was an agent of the MI-6, the external arm of British Intelligence. The deputy chief editor V K Tourdjev said that they indeed were and added that the story was based on information ferreted from KGB archives. He also showed Malhotra, from a distance, a letter marked `top secret’ and written by Colonel G A Hill of British intelligence on December 11, 1943 to Colonel Osipov of Soviet Intelligence that alleged that Bose had `cooperated’ with MI-6. It also alleged that Bose had escaped to Kabul from house arrest in Calcutta in 1941 with the full knowledge of the British Intelligence.

By the mid of 1943 Subhas Bose was already in Singapore and had launched the Indian National Army (INA) with the cooperation of the Japanese. He was fighting the British tooth and nail, who, in turn, were keen to get rid of the Indian patriot by hook or crook. In fact, the Special Operations Executive (SOE) -an irregular war time sabotage agency set up at the instance of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill -had been ordered (soon after Bose disappeared from Calcutta) to ‘eliminate’ him, including by assassination. (మరింత…)

Hyderabad haleem గురువారం, జులై 25 2013 

The Hyderabad haleem is now a Rs100-crore brand name

JBS Umanadh in Hyderabad, Deccan Herald, Thursday 25 July 2013

After the mouth-watering Hyderabadi Biryani, haleem, a meat stew laced with best quality herbs, is poised to become popular with the dish gaining acceptance among different sections of the society.

Haleem is cooked and served during the holy month of Ramzan. Haleem is made from pounded whole wheat and a choice of meat such as mutton or chicken. The thick paste is served fresh and hot with crispy fried onions and a sprinkle of lemon juice. It is the mainstay for the fasting (roza) Muslims during the Holy month. A couple of restaurants serve it throughout the year.

It is a tradition to break the daily fast at Iftar with a plateful of haleem. In Hyderabad, haleem is also served as a starter at Muslim weddings, celebrations and other special occasions. A few restaurants and Irani hotels also serve haleem throughout the year.

Generally the preparations begin during the day and end around dusk to coincide with the evening prayers. An expert keeps a close watch on the preparation as the dish needs continuous stirring. Haleem is cooked on a low flame of firewood for 12 hours in a brick and mud klin. One or two men mix it thoroughly with large wooden sticks throughout its preparation, until it gets to a sticky-smooth consistency. (మరింత…)

Polavaram Dam: Corrupt interests at the expense of noble alternatives గురువారం, అక్టో 25 2012 

Observational Report on the Polavaram Dam Project and Surrounding Areas
– Drew Bahr
, HELP International Intern

During the summer of 2011 I had the opportunity to personally witness the proposed construction site of the Polavaram Dam as well as interview three engineers and environment experts with alternative proposals and view the conditions of the people in the proposed area of displacement that would be created by the Dam. During this three-day journey from Hyderabad to northern Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, I was surprised to find that many things are not as they were officially described by the government.

Our trip began with an effort to document the present existence of canals to provide irrigation for the surrounding countryside from the Godavari River to refute the claim that the Dam is necessary to provide irrigation for rice and other crops. Although government engineers seem to ignore their presence, we visited perfectly working canals and pumping stations from the river alongside new canals which were supposedly built to take water from the Godavari River to the Krishna River Basin. These larger canals, however, seem to have displaced an inordinate amount of farmers and did not provide means for their local use through pumps or other forms of access.
(మరింత…)

Remembering Maqbool Fida Hussain – Shashi Tharoor శనివారం, జూన్ 9 2012 

M.F. Husain
Artist, 95

By SHASHI THAROOR, TIME, Dec 14, 2011

I first met M.F. Husain in New York when he was already a legend — “India’s Picasso,” the barefoot reinventor of Indian traditions through his prolific and iconoclastic paintbrush. We collaborated on a book about my home state of Kerala — 22 of his fine paintings together with my prose — and formed a friendship that was to last nearly two decades, till his passing at a youthful 95.

In an astonishing 60,000 paintings, sketches and murals Husain created an artistic idiom that was instantly recognizable as his — the Cubist slashes, the splashes of vivid colour, the variety of sources of Indian inspiration, especially from Hindu mythology, to whose richness and diversity he brought worldwide appreciation. His output was so prodigious that some of it is uneven. His restless creativity and desire to experiment in other fields led him to become a filmmaker, without conspicuous success, as well as to dabble in poetry and photography, architecture and even furniture-making. This was imaginative energy bubbling over, a zest for life he carried to his deathbed. It was a measure of how youthful he was in his 90s — sprightly, without stick or hearing-aid, fond of fast cars and beautiful women — that his passing came as such a shock to his friends, who had begun to think of him as immortal. (మరింత…)

Anti dam stir in Northeast – Nitin Sethi మంగళవారం, జూన్ 5 2012 

Small numbers drown northeast anti-dam stirs
Nitin Sethi, TNN June 5, 2012

NEW DELHI: It’s a tough one to sell to the rest of India. A dam in northeast India displaces a much smaller number of people than, say, a Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh that would displace more than a lakh. Or a project on the Narmada in Madhya Pradesh that threatens the lives of hundreds of thousands.

So when the gigantic 1,750-MW Demwe Hydroelectric Project comes up on Lohit, a tributary of the Brahmaputra in Arunachal Pradesh, just a couple of hundred households of the small Miju Mishmis and Digaru Mishmis tribes are displaced. India hasn’t heard of them.

This number of people could fit into a single block of a Delhi housing colony. Moreover, they are not ‘us’. For the rest of India, Arunachal Pradesh has been India’s border land, not someone’s home.

The government assesses that the dam is needed for ‘strategic’ reasons as much as for the power it would generate. So the impact on the flora, fauna and environment comes second.

The few hundred families in the way can be taken care of with contracts, jobs dole – a minor cost of development. No one questions if the dam would wipe out an entire community’s way of life. Such as in the case of the Tipaimukh hydroelectric dam in Manipur, where the Zeliangrong Nagas stand to lose their sacred spots and half their fertile hills or the sacred mountains of Sikkim’s Lepchas in the case of dams on the Teesta. (మరింత…)

Crisis of drinking water in Hyderabad to continue for three more years శుక్రవారం, ఏప్రి 27 2012 

Water crisis to continue for 3 yrs
April 27, 2012, Deccan Chronicle, Hyderabad

Citizens of the peripheral areas in Hyderabad will continue to suffer drinking water shortage for at least two more years due to a delay in the implementation of the Krishna Phase-III, as the state government has sanctioned a meagre Rs 30 crore for execution of the Rs 1,670 crore project.

The Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board has little money to take up works on the Krishna Phase-III, and the Water Board is already mortgaging its properties to raise loans for the execution of the Godavari drinking water project for Hyderabad city. Experts say that the Krishna Phase-III drinking water project can be completed in less than 12 months, and that the city can get an additional 90 MGD water. (మరింత…)

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