Pedalandariki Illu: Identified Lands Submerged In Floodwater

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has introduced several schemes for the welfare of the poor in the state, under the Navaratnalu, which he promised to implement during the hustings.

Accordingly, Jagan had introduced many of the schemes he promised and some more which he had mentioned during his electioneering. Schemes which involved distribution of money like Amma Vodi and monthly pensions, were implemented successfully. However, other schemes which included several other factors like implementation of English as the medium of instruction in government schools and Pedalandariki Illu have hit a roadblock. Apart from the legal hassles, natural disasters like the pandemic and the recent rains that lashed the state posed a challenge in implementation of the programmes.

Many challenges

The Pedalandriki Illu scheme, which had already been deferred at least 3-4 times so far due to numerous petitions filed against the ‘illegal ways’ adopted in acquisition of land, is now facing another hurdle. Under the scheme, Jagan promised to distribute 1 cent of land to each poor family.

There are reports that lands identified for distribution to the poor in many districts are inundated due to the incessant rain as many of them are located in low-lying areas. In Rajahmundry, the ‘Aava’ (low-lying) lands have inundated following the heavy rains for the last three days. In Kakinada too, the swampy marshes in the mangroves are submerged due to the depression-induced rain.

Earlier, the TDP had warned the YCP government of such a problem and even said that distribution of low-lying lands would only add to the woes of the poor instead of making them feel proud owners of houses.

Further, there are allegations that layouts being readied for the scheme are also not being provided with basic amenities like the mandated road spaces and parks. It is learnt that the officials in Kadapa are compromising on the road width supposed to be left in the colonies.

Earlier, many of the poor filed petitions in the court alleging that lands assigned to them were snatched away by the officials to give to another section of the poor, as part of the YCP’s ambitious land distribution programme.

The TDP leaders alleged that the YCP leaders resorted to a multi-crore scam in the name of acquisition of lands for the scheme. The YCP leaders reportedly bought the lands at a cheaper price from the owners and sold the same to the government at higher prices.

At one moment, Jagan even mulled to distribute 100 acres pooled by the farmers in the capital region which was severely opposed by the farmers. They moved the court on the issue. The farmers said that it was in violation of the guidelines framed by the government when they parted with the land for the capital.

English medium

Meanwhile, the proposal to introduce English medium in government schools as the medium of instruction has landed in the court with Telugu language lovers and educationists challenging it on the grounds that the students would face hardship in understanding the subject matter if it is taught in a foreign language. Moreover, the central government too, in the New Education Policy unveiled recently, made it clear that teaching should be done in mother tongue for all students of primary schools in the state-run schools.

The educationists feel that Jagan government should not insist on English medium but leave the choice of medium to the parents of the students, as they are too young to take decisions on their own. The matter is still pending in the court.

With the incessant rains wreaking havoc in many areas, people in low-lying areas have been shifted to relief camps set up in government schools, which are devoid of students due to the pandemic. Jagan had postponed reopening of schools too several times this academic year due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

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