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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Environment : Kolleru to get its boundaries

Finally, the Asia's biggest fresh water lake is going to have its original boundaries, nearly half a centure after greedy politicians have breached them.

The lake which lost its pristine purity and environment was revived recently after the State government demolished all the encroachments. Now Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy has ordered that the boundaries for the restored lake be fixed.

Rajasekhara Reddy directed the districts collectors of West Godavari and Krishna districts to take up the work of fixing boundaries of the Kolleru lake sanctuary in detail with survey numbers in December 2007 and complete it by March 2008 end.

According to the G.O.120 of 4.10.1999 around 77,000 acres up to +5 contour were declared as Kollelru Wild Life Sanctuary. The peoples' representatives of the two districts brought to the notice of the Chief Minister that some additional tanks over and above 77,000 acres were demolished during Kolleru lake restoration.

The Chief Minister categorically said that the lands over and above the notified under sanctuary area ie. 77,000 acres should not be touched but at the same time the sanctuary area should be protected in such a way that even in future no one should encroach it.

The Chief Minister agreed to provide either land to land to those private land owners who lost their land in Kolleru or compensation and ordered the District Collectors to send a detailed report after completion of the survey.

Babu creates rift between the CPI and the CPM!

It is a universal fact that the Communists in India have always given priority to land issues and those relating to the poor. When the CPI and the CPM took up the land struggle in Andhra Pradesh, the Telugu Desam was sleeping. Now that the land issue has taken a serious turn with the police firing on Communist agitators at Mudigonda in Khammam district, the TD woke up from its slumber and hijacked the issue.

While it is for the voters to decide whether to side with the Left or the Telugu Desam in the elections, the TD's action has resulted in the division of the Communists.

Chandrababu Naidu's comments and his calculated moves have now led to the clear polarisation of these two major Communist parties.

While CPM State secretary BV Raghavulu is clearly siding with the Telugu Desam through his word and deed, CPI senior leader Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy took strong exception to the TD hijacking the land agitation.

The TD wants to create a further divide. So its senior leaders convened a press conference and alleged that Sudhakar Reddy has fallen in the trap of the Congress. They said Sudhakar Reddy is close to Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy.

Though the TD leadership did not say much it is amply clear that the party was speaking of a caste divide. Raghavulu siding with Chandrababu Naidu and Sudhakar Reddy siding with Rajasekhar Reddy. It wants to turn it into K vs R fight. And wants to fish in the troubled waters. So much for Chandrababu Naidu and his astute planning and execution of political ideas.

Congress leader takes cue from Shankardada

Karimnagar: To counter the Telugu Desam Party’s “false propaganda” against the State Government, the Karimnagar City Congress wing has launched a unique and novel protest on the lines of ‘Lage Raho Munna Bhai' a la ‘Shankar Dada Zindabad’ to change the attitude of TDP president N. Chandrababu Naidu.

If the film ‘Shankardada Zindabad’ sends flowers along with a letter to the villains praying god to bring about attitudinal change in them and refrain from violence, Karimnagar City Congress Committee president Akarapu Bhaskar Reddy sent an open letter and a bouquet of flowers to Mr. Chandrababu Naidu by post to stop shedding ‘crocodile tears’ for welfare of the poor and support the Government for their upliftment and all round development of the State.

Hunger strike

Mr. Reddy, along with the local Congress leaders, participated in a daylong hunger strike at Sripada Chowk near the Collectorate on Tuesday as a counter the TDP president’s hunger strike in Hyderabad. District Congress Committee president Santosh Kumar and Karimnagar Mayor D. Shankar visited the hunger strike camp.

Mr. Bhaskar Reddy began hunger strike after offering praying to god to give peace of mind to the TDP leaders and change their attitude of becoming power-mongers. He said that open letters would also be sent to district party leaders.

Buzz: CPI keeps Naidu at bay in land stir!

Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu might have thought the land stir launched by the Communists is a blessing in disguise for him and tried to cash in on the differences between them and the Congress.

But he received a rude shock from CPI on Wednesday. The CPI State committee meeting held at Makhdoom Bhavan decided to keep Chandrababu Naidu at bay in its second phase of land struggle. What is more, the party resolved to convince the CPI-M to restrict the land stir only to the Communist parties and not to allow the TD to take advantage of the situation. "Naidu has no moral right to find for the poor. The Basheerbagh firing incident is fresh in the minds of the people and at that time, Naidu did not announce any ex gratia to the families of firing victims. Now, he is shamelessly demanding Rs 10 lakh to the Mudigonda firing victims. He cannot be believed," CPI leaders said.

Surprisingly, the same CPI and CPI-M leaders Narayana and Raghavulu gave a call to all political parties to join hands with them in their Bhoo Poratam. They invited Naidu on to the dais at their fasting programme at Indira Park and allowed him to address the people along side of Communists. They also organised all party meeting on the next day of Mudigonda incident, where the TD was in the limelight.

Perhaps, Narayana might have had soft corner towards Naidu because of the same K-factor, which brought Raghavulu also closer to him. But things changed once the national committee member Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy entered the scene. He advised the CPI leaders not to entertain the TD and allow it to hijack the movement. Hence, the change in stand!

Hyderabad Buzz: Talasani promotes his two sons

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Former minister and senior Telugu Desam leader Talasani Srinivas Yadav wants to take advantage of the political situation in Hyderabad. With arch rival Krishna Yadav out of the party fold, Srinivas Yadav has now been focussing on the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation elections.

He reportedly wants to bring his two sons into politics. After all Srinivas Yadav himself was a small businessman before plunging into politics.

Srinivas Yadav has erected banners and pasted posters at vantage points in Secunderabad during the Lashkar Bonalu festival. The welcome banners and posters has the photographs of Srinivas Yadav and his two sons.

The publicity material was there for just two days. But on the third day the posters and banners went missing. Whatever be the reasons behind the missing of the posters, Srinivas Yadav has achieved one point: to promote his two sons, who are otherwise not known to anyone in twin cities.

Issueless BJP takes up prohibition issue!

The Bharatiya Janata Party in the State is in a miserable situation, as it has no issue to fight against the government and be in the news. The Communist parties have a major issue of land struggle to fight, while the Telugu Desam has plenty of other issues like the Obulapuram mining and also the land struggle. The TRS, too, is going ahead with its consolidation programme in Telangana districts, starting with the Singareni union elections.

But the poor BJP has no programme of action to go into the people. That's why, it has now started reviving the old issue of "Prohibition" in the State. In fact, it was the new part Lok Satta, which wanted to take up Prohibition as a major social issue and make it as an election plank in the 2009 elections. But, it is yet to formulate an action plan on the subject.

The BJP wants to take the advanatage of this delay and is all set to launch the agitation. The BJP leaders are of the view that it would be a major issue in the next elections and so, the party might gain some advantage.

But, has it not become an outdated issue? What does it do, when its opponents question as to why Prohibition is not being implemented in the BJP-ruled States? Does it have any answer?

Andhra Pradesh coming to New York today!

Andhra Pradesh will land in New York today. Don’t be surprised – it’s true – Andhra Pradesh is coming to New York. India’s state carrier Air India has acquired a fleet of state-of-the art aircraft. The airline has decided to name the aircraft after the names of the states in the country.

Andhra Pradesh has bagged the distinction of getting its name for the first aircraft in the fleet. The aircraft will commence its maiden flight today – and it is a non-stop flight to New York from Mumbai.

The credit for this goes the state government. The state government has convinced the civil aviation authorities to name the first aircraft as Andhra Pradesh. And the state government has succeeded in beating tough competition from other states to bag this distinction.

AP is one of the most happening states in the country and has enormous tourist potential. The naming of the aircraft is just one among the many steps being taken by the government to promote tourism.

A shot documentary showcasing the potential of Andhra Pradesh as a tourist destination and the some of the charming tourist spots in the state like places of religious interest, forts, wildlife sanctuaries, the famed handicrafts, rich cuisine etc. will also be shown in the flight.

Mudigonda: IAS lobby takes advantage

The ongoing cold war between the IAS and IPS lobbies to gain upperhand in the administration has once again come to the fore in the Mudigonda incident.

The IAS officers, who are waiting for an opportunity to prove their superiority to the IPS, took advantage of the Mudigonda incident to defame the police. Accordingly, Khammam District Collector Shashibhushan Kumar submitted a report to the State Human Rights Commission, holding the police responsible for the killing of seven innocent people in the firing. The Collector said the police had not made proper and prior alternative arrangements to avert firing in Mudigonda. He said the cops had not assessed first the seriousness of the situation and not taken prior arrangements such as taking water canons and teargas shells to Mudigonda. He even said the police did not provide even drinking water to the agitators, who got injured in the firing.

The Collector's report is in total contrast to the report submitted by the IPS office Lokendra Sarma, who conducted departmental inquiry into the incident. But with the Khammam district judge also submitting a report to the State High Court, more or less similar to the Collector's report, the IAS lobby got the advantage, leaving the IPS officers fretting and fuming.

Fact Sheet: Left stir takes caste colour!

While the Congress high command is trying to buy peace with the Leftists at the Centre in the aftermath of Mudigonda firing incident, the State Congress leaders stepped up their counter attack on the Communist leaders, particularly CPI-M State secretary B V Raghavulu.

And leading the attack was none other than Pradesh Congress Committee president K Kesava Rao. After accusing the Communists of engineering the land struggle only to make money, he went a step ahead on Wednesday and gave a caste colour to the land stir. He accused Raghavulu of suffering from "Kula gajji" (caste itching), as the latter was helping Telugu Desam president N Chandrababu Naidu gain political mileage. Raghavulu hails from the same community (Kamma) as that of Naidu. In Khammam district, too, CPI-M leader Tammineni Veerabhadram who is leading the land struggle, also belongs to the same caste. And the Additional SP Ramesh Babu, who abetted the firing incident also is said to be from the same caste. This would have prompted Kesava Rao to attribute casteist motives to Raghavulu.

Though it is an open secret that Raghavulu's affinity towards Chandrababu Naidu only because of this K-factor, the CPI-M State secretary never agrees it. He wondered why Kesava Rao did not think in caste lines, when the CPI-M fought along with the Congress against the Telugu Desam government in the past. Neverthless, Kesava Rao raised a pertinent question, which Raghavulu can never deny.

YSR's hi-speed rail project is just a graphics wonder!

Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy has sought Central assistance for the high speed rail project between Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam via Vijayawada. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who went through the project, said a firm no. But assured the chief minister that he would look into it at an appropriate time.

What is the reality behind the project conception. According to sources, an official in the chief minister's office just chanced upon a high speed goods rail project while browsing the internet. He simply changed the concept and using graphics, converted it into a passenger train project.

He then put it before the chief minister. Not knowing what went behind the scene, the chief minister put it before the prime minister seeking Central assistance.

Manmohan Singh, a great economist he is, must have known the real story by going through the cooked up project report. So he turned down the proposal. But not to be rude, he simply said he would look in to it at a later date.

So much for official manipulation.

Dal-roti-subzi for dinner, toilet kit Dutt's only luxury

Mumbai: It was a frugal dinner of brinjal subzi, dal, four rotis and some rice for Bollywood star Sanjay Dutt on Wednesday after he spent his first night at Barrack No 1 of the Arthur Road Jail.

Dutt, who was brought to the jail on Tuesday evening after being sentenced to six years rigorous imprisonment in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts, spent his first night in jail like any other inmate — minus fan, bedsheet or pillow.

However, he was provided a blanket for the night, which all prisoners are entitled to, a jail official said.

Lodged in a 90-sq-ft cell in Barrack No.1, Dutt had to wear the regulation prickly jail-provided white shirt and pyjamas. Though he was not permitted to bring in extra clothes like jeans, he was allowed some luxury — he could get in his full toilet kit.

The kit comprised of the actor's favourite London's premium brand Molten Brown toiletries like mouthwash, hair-wash and soap, a jail source revealed. But Dutt, 48, has to share his toilet and bathroom with eight other prisoners.

A chain smoker, Dutt is believed to have been allowed to take in a 10-pack of his favoured brand — Marlboro Lights. He has also carried combs, toothbrush and towels from Mumbai's ITC Grand Central.

"On Wednesday morning, Dutt had a frugal breakfast of sweetened tea and biscuits and a couple of slices of bread at 0730 hours. The regular jail lunch was at 1030 hours and it comprised a subzi, dal, four rotis and some rice. Dutt was served tea at 1500 hours and dinner immediately afterwards at 1530 hours, identical to what he had for lunch," a jail official said.

The actor was initially lodged in Barrack No 10. But he was shifted to No 1 for security reasons in a late-night development on Tuesday. "Sanjay Dutt was shifted to Barrack No 1 from No 10 late Tuesday night, taking his security into account," sources at the Arthur Road Jail said on Wednesday.

Barrack No 10 has high-profile inmates like extradited mobster Abu Salem and Mustafa Dossa, both of whom are being tried separately in the 1993 Mumbai serial bombings.

Incidentally, Dutt had asked the special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Preventive) Act (TADA) judge Pramod Kode not to put him and his two associates, Yusuf Nulwala and Kersi Adajenia, in the infamous 'andda' (egg-shaped) cell of Arthur Road prison.

"The actor spent an uneventful night, while his two friends, Nulwala and Adajenia, were shifted to Barrack No 8," the jail source said.

Barrack No 1 has one big cell with around 30 prisoners and three small cells. Sanjay had one of the small cells. Praveen Mahajan, who is under trial for allegedly killing his brother and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pramod Mahajan, is in another. The third houses members of the fugitive mobster Chhota Shakeel's gang — Salim Fruit and Shahid Sheikh.

The Munnabhai star did not taste the jail dinner on Tuesday as the scheduled dinner time was over much before he was brought in. The cell in which Dutt is lodged is near the main door of the jail and is popularly known as the Buddha Barrack, as all aged undertrials were lodged there earlier.

The cell, which till recently housed a Mumbai civic official accused in a real estate deal connected with India's most wanted fugitive Dawood Ibrahim, was given a fresh coat of paint on Monday.

It has a toilet-cum-bathroom facility outside and a bucket of water is provided twice a day at 0400 hours and 1530 hours, jail sources said.

Dutt is to be in Barrack No 1 till Thursday, after which the authorities will decide where to shift him. Arthur Road Jail is meant for undertrials and has no facilities for rigorous imprisonment, like carpentry or weaving work that convicts have to undertake.

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