KHAMMAM: ‘Will Bhadrachalam ever be able to regain its lost glory?’ This question has been audible ever since the blues of bifurcation started haunting the temple town. Even though the State government had tried to find solutions to the problems, it could not remedy the misery faced by the locals. Meanwhile, if reports are to be believed, then the temple town will soon be able to regain its glory.
According to information, in a bid to ensure this, the Telangana government is exerting maximum efforts to get back the five gram panchayats the State had lost to Andhra Pradesh during the Andhra Pradesh bifurcation. According to sources, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has already appealed Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take steps to give back the five panchayats of Bhadrachalam mandal that were merged with Andhra Pradesh.
Reliable sources claim that the chief minister also got assurance from the Prime Minister regarding the same. According to information, the Central government had merged Gundala, Pichikalapadu, Kannaigudem, Yetapaka and Purusothapatnam gram panchayats with Andhra Pradesh for the rehabilitation of those who got displaced after the officials concerned started acquiring lands for the Polavaram project.
However, while being a bliss to Andhra Pradesh, the merger became a menace to the temple town, and the people living in other parts of Telangana, as those who live in mandals like Dummagudem, Cherla, Venkatapuram and Wazeedu in Telangana have to travel through the merged panchayats, which means they have to travel through Andhra Pradesh, crossing the State-border, to reach other places.
It is learnt that farmers are the most affected. They come to Bhadrachalam for purchasing fertilizers, pesticides and other amenities required for cultivation with the limited amount of money they have and like rubbing salt into their wounds, they are forced to pay taxes at the Andhra-border as they have to cross the merged villages to reach respective natives. Even the Andhra Pradesh officials have also raised objections against the movement of Telangana-owned transport vehicles through their jurisdictions and have asked the Telangana authorities to pay taxes.
Putting the lives of the denizens further in dire straits, the merger has also hit the development of Bhadrachalam as it has no space left for expansion since three of the temple town’s four sides have been merged with Andhra Pradesh. Bhadrachalam gram panchayat officials are also facing several hurdles in waste management after its only dump yard was merged with Andhra Pradesh.
Unable to find an alternate spot for dumping garbage, the officials are forced to throw piles of garbage into Godavari river which is causing severe health problems to the locals. The temple and many other department officials are also facing several problems for erecting new structures to discharge duties more efficiently due to lack of government lands in the town.
Temple officials have lost control over major portion of their lands after the merger. Even though the residents of the merged villages staged many agitations against the merger with to get back to Telangana, went in vain. However, it is learnt that if the request raised by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, on behalf of the Telangana government, is okayed by the Central government, it would help solve all the problems.