first_imgExhorting the government to involve slum dwellers in the development of the city, Campaign for Housing and Tenurial Rights Convenor Varghese Theckanath on Monday said those living on bunds were worried in the wake of canal beautification projects and demanded that they not be relocated. “About 26% of the city population lives in slums, one-third of which are located on canal bunds. The government’s plan to transform canals should not disturb dwellers who have been living on the same lands for decades,” he said at a press conference here. Stating that most slum dwellers were employed in blue collar jobs, he added, “Driving them away from the city would burden their lives and cost them jobs. They are an integral part of the city and the government should ensure they remain so” Vijayawada Slum People’s Federation Convenor Chinni concurred with him and said they were not against the beautification of the city but demanded involvement in it. Calling for relocating slums to neighbouring areas, Housing Rights Network city Coordinator Sanjeev and Monfort Social Institute city Coordinator P. Ravindra Babu said RTI applications had been filed to find out available land for the same. Under threatTo gauge the impact of projects, a survey by the NGOs revealed that more than 36,000 persons of 8,000 families resided in the 31 slums on the bunds of Bandar, Ryves and Eluru canals and Budameru rivulet in the city.last_img read more


first_imgKutch, India’s largest district, is in the grip of one of the worst droughts. The western and northern Banni areas of this Gujarat district have been without rain for the third continuous year.“Our data of over 12 years shows that during this drought the migration of the Maldhari tribal herders with their livestock has been very high,” says Ramesh Bhatti, programme director of Sahjivan Trust, Bhuj.“In their quest for water, people of Sheth Vandh in Banni get together, pray and start digging. Those in the surrounding villagers also join in,” says Abdul Rauf Mutwa, a local leader. Why has drought hit the Maldharis of Kutch so hard this year? Before Partition, the Maldharis used to migrate to Sindh during droughts, recalls Jumma Sama, a former sarpanch of Ratadia village.The drought has not spared Khadir island along the India-Pakistan border either.Jilubha Sodha of Dholavira in Khadir, who runs a cattle camp, says water from a branch canal of the Narmada project would be very valuable at such times, but it has not yet reached the area.(Images and text by Vijay Soneji)last_img read more


first_imgJammu & Kashmir regional parties, the National Conference (NC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the J&K People’s Movement, on Thursday congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the BJP’s historic victory and expressed hope that justice would be done to the people of the State. “I hope the new dispensation at the Centre will initiate a dialogue with Pakistan and do justice to the people of J&K. I am also hopeful of reconciliation and rapprochement in the State,” said NC president and former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, who won the Srinagar seat.Warning against the muscular policy that resulted in the “blinding of the youth in the past five years”, Dr. Abdullah said, “A confrontation between India and Pakistan only puts J&K in the line of fire. J&K will benefit from a bonhomie between India and Pakistan.”He said he would continue to fight to protect the secular character of the country. “We have to fight for the protection of a secular India. We will spare no effort towards protecting Article 370 and Article 35-A. The other enormous task ahead of us is to protect the ideals of the Constitution of India,” he added.NC leader Omar Abdullah also praised the BJP’s performance. “So the exit polls were correct…Credit to PM Modisahib and Amit Shah who put together a winning alliance and a very professional campaign,” said Mr. Abdullah.PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, who lost from the Anantnag constituency, said, “Congratulations to Narendra Modiji for a historic mandate. Today surely belongs to the BJP and its allies. It’s time for the Congress to get an Amit Shah,” she tweeted. J&K People’s Movement chairman Shah Faesal congratulated Mr. Modi for the “landslide win.” “The mandate must be respected. We in J&K are hopeful that tempers will be allowed to calm down. In this second term, Mr. Modi can make history by reaching out to the people of J&K. Kashmir has to heal,” said Mr. Faesal.last_img read more