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.


Heroes of Elections 2009 – Mary Francis fights displacement సోమవారం, ఏప్రి 6 2009 

A housewife’s crusade

K.P.M. Basheer



PARTY: Independent




STATE: Kerala


MISSION STATEMENT: I want this antiquated, inhuman law [Land Acquisition Act of 1894] overhauled. I don’t want anyone else to suffer the way I have.


Mary Francis knows pretty well that hers is a losing battle. But the 60-year-old housewife is standing to draw attention to what she sees as a life-and-death issue for thousands of people from Nandigram to the Narmada Valley — displacement in the name of development. Ms. Francis understands their pain well.


In February last year, her home and the carpentry workshop run by her husband on a quarter of an acre property on the tiny emerald island of Moolampally in the Kochi backwaters were demolished. The bulldozers, sent out by the Ernakulam district administration, were making way for a road to the Vallarpadam project — a Rs. 3,000-crore international container transhipment terminal of the Cochin Port Trust being constructed by India Gateway Terminals Limited on a build-operate-transfer basis. (మరింత…)

ఖరీధైన పట్నంలొ జైలు బడులు Concrete School శుక్రవారం, జూలై 18 2008 

Your child just lost his last chance to play kho-kho and kabbadi with friends as playgrounds in private schools are no longer a strict condition that school owners have to comply with. Instead, they can now have an indoor game facility or can simply tie-up with a neighbouring municipal park and herd students there each time they wish to jump around. Activists say the government is destroying the concept of holistic education while officials say land is expensive and not all schools can afford a playground. Finally, the children are the ones paying the price for the steep land prices, finds Roli Srivastava

All work and no play may be making Jack a dull boy, but the state government isn’t exactly concerned about it, now that it has exempted private schools from having a playground. A government order issued by the school education department on July 7 gives concessions to private schools from having a playground citing high cost of land in cities as the reason.

The order was issued in response to a public interest litigation filed in the high court by a private educational institution and a group of minority institutions. The litigation challenged the reason why a playground was a mandatory condition to get government affiliation to a school when many government schools did not have one. The high court had then asked the government to offer its suggestions and in response the GO was issued, closing the matter of open spaces in the school premises. (మరింత…)

Disastrous Polavaram Dam & Illegal Clearances- NEAA మంగళవారం, డిసెం 25 2007 

National Environment Appellate Authority has found ‘environmental clearance’ to Polavaram Dam given by Ministry of Environment & Forests unacceptable and improper. Environment clearance was granted in October 2005 to this controversial and disastrous dam in great haste under political pressure of YSR government. That clearance was a mockery, alleged by civil society and environment activists and adivasi groups, is proved by the NEAA declaring the ‘clearance’ unaccpetable  
Prof Sivaji Rao, environment expert, described it as a killer dam https://mbbhushan.wordpress.com/2007/09/25/save-andhra-pradesh-from-polavaram-prof-shivaji-rao/
Several NGOs and peoples organisations resisted the dam since mid eighties on ecological, economic and social grounds. 
YSR government started implementing the project with manifold cost escalations, hundred design deviations and thousand lies without a single clearance from any authority as part of the contractors’ raj and its pet scheme – Jala Yagnam in Andhra Pradesh
Jalayagnam plans to irrigate one crore acres at a cost of one lakh rupees per acre! and all that before the next elections!! just one  lakh crores to go down the drain in a record time!!!
this is yet another judgement against YSR government’s illegal projects
report on the issue from lliveMint.com the wall street journal
bharath bhushan

Two years on, project caught in green knots

National Environment Appellate Authority says nod for the Polavaram dam given without adequate hearing to people who may be hit
Padmaparna Ghosh

New Delhi: In a setback to the Andhra Pradesh government, the environmental go-ahead for a large multi-purpose dam has been set aside, two years after work had begun on the project.

The Polavaram dam, also known as the Indira Sagar project, is located in the northern part of the state and would straddle portions of the adjoining states of Chhattisgarh and Orissa.
In its order issued on Monday, the National Environment Appellate Authority, the statutory body that is empowered to hear appeals challenging environmental clearances, maintained that the clearance given by the Union environment ministry was done without giving an adequate hearing to all the people likely to be displaced, the largest in any similar project in the country. The order was passed by a bench comprising J.C Kala, I.V. Manivannan and Kaushlendra Prasad.
“Conceived in 1982, the project languished until it was taken up in earnest in 2002 by the Telugu Desam-led state government”

Under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, all major projects, in sectors such as hydroelectric, mega power and mining, have to get an environmental clearance, which is based on an environmental impact assessment. (మరింత…)

వార్త ఆదివారం కవర్ స్టోరి- వైవిద్య రాగాల వీణ – తెలంగాణ బుధవారం, సెప్టెం 19 2007 

వైవిద్య రాగాల వీణ – తెలంగాణ : Cover story of Sunday ‘Vaartha’ (16 September 2007)  is an example of plagiarism, sadly that is widespread in Telugu writing.  It is a good story. But not done in right way. 

The cover story of eight pages (page 12 to 19) is a picturesque tale with photos taken from ‘Spirit of Telangana 2007′ Calendar and TUC website. ‘Vaartha’ cover story has all its pictures – eight pictures on the cover from Utsav.

And eight page story has fifteen more pictures depicting culture and monuments of varied districts of Telangana.

23 pictures altogether are taken from the Utsav website and the photo credits were neatly deleted from these pictures and used in the story. All these are works of several artists both professional and amateur


Polavaram Dam makes Godavari Nadhi an item for consumption ఆదివారం, జూన్ 24 2007 

Thalli Godavari, part of belief and folklore for millions of people for ages, is now fast changing. Godavari as Varadha Godhaari, Perntaalapalli, Kondamodalu, abode of Koya and Konda Reddy adivasis, Rampa tribal revolts under Alluri Seetarama Raju, Nelakota Gandi Pochamma, numerous streams and historical- religious villages and long trails of Gotthi Koyas from Bastar forests trekking every season for coolie works in mirchi and tobacco fields are images of Godavari etched in the minds of generations of people. It is one part of the story.  

There is a new face emerging because of Polavaram Dam. Godavari as life for people and as a space of might for the State. New faces of Godavari, sacred and profane, one that is of people and belief and one that is a site and commodity for traders. Godavari that is life and tradition and one that is being dammed and damned. Two faces of mighty Godavari river. Now also an ‘item’ for consumption

The Threat of Polavaram Dam has  has added new face to Godavari. Fear of damming the mighty river has given rise to ‘special shows’ of riverscape and all that is part of three hundred and more villages with every inch of the vast stretch of forests, river and hills and valleys that is habitat of the Koya people and part of national heritage and belief system. But that is going to be lost with damning in progress where the government is directed by interests of contractors than science or cultural values or norms of democratic governance.

There is rush to catch glimpse of Godhaari thalli. Tourism focused on ‘giving last chance to see river timeless  pristine godavari has special trips, ‘record dance’ and all that of a fun and profitable business. Adds empty bottles and wrappers, disposables and filth on the riverbed. Conflict of life and profit. They ask “Bangaaru katthi ani meda kosukontamaa?” (would you like to cut your throat because the knife is made of gold). And simply they reject the damning project. Illiterate adivasis do not know to negotiate with the challenge.

A telling commenting on the changing face godhaari is the report by Uma Maheswari. I am sure it adds to the growing understanding on the destruction of ecology and people in the name of Polavaram dam.   

JOURNEYA tale of two rivers 

The Godavari has an intrinsic bond with the lives being lived on its shores. It can also be made invisible, a conduit for tourism. Overseeing the transition is the Polavaram dam. R. UMA MAHESWARI 

The two journeys reflected the difference between people’s commerce and that of the State, in league with exploitative private profiteers 

That was a different time, a different Godavari, a different flow and a different “movement”. It was languorous, as if time stopped by, for absorbing each moment of the flow. It was in June last year, one’s first trip across this stretch of the Godavari (incidentally, the second longest river of India, running to around 900 miles) in Andhra Pradesh. It had poured the previous night and still smelt of earth after first drops of rain and a mild breeze blew. It was 3 a.m. when I stepped on to the luggage carrier launch (a medium sized steamer), or “laanchi” in local parlance, at the “laanchila revu” in Rajahmundry. I sat on the deck amidst an assortment of goods — groceries, vegetables, fruits, cardboard cartons and so on. (మరింత…)