A happening place

Print edition : October 08, 2010

Guntur district is aiming at all-round, inclusive growth with a slew of projects and programmes.

GUNTUR district, spread over an area of nearly 11,390 square kilometres, is bounded by Prakasam district in the south, Mahabubnagar in the west and Krishna and Nalgonda districts in the north. The district has a population of nearly 50 lakh. Under the guidance of Chief Minister K. Rosaiah, the district administration has been making impressive strides in all spheres of development. District Collector B. Ramanjaneyulu has been spearheading the efforts to realise the dream of inclusive growth.

Abundant rainfall this year has raised the hopes of record rice cultivation. Paddy transplantation is on at a brisk pace now. The Department of Agriculture supplied 54,675 quintals of seed and trained 2,58,154 farmers during the Rythu Chaitanya Yatras. A weather-based crop insurance scheme was introduced on a pilot basis and so far Rs.17.34 crore has been sanctioned to 16,357 farmers.

Farm credit is given top priority and crop loans to the tune of Rs.19.52 crore have been released; crop loans for the kharif season had been extended up to September.

Under the Technology Mission on Cotton, seven market yards have been identified for constructing auction platforms.

The fire mishap in the chilli market yard in Guntur in May 2008 had caused a huge loss to farmers. Compensation amounting to Rs.11 crore has been paid to 1,677 chilli farmers, while traders and insurance companies were persuaded to pay Rs.5.50 crore to commission agents.

The self-help group (SHG) movement is on the upswing. Under the Pavala Vaddi scheme, Rs.235 crore was distributed to 18,545 SHGs in 2009-10. The Abhaya Hastam scheme has benefited 17,669 people.

Urban loan linkage is also picking up with 16,848 SHGs set up in 12 municipalities. These SHGs have been extended a credit of Rs.1,290 crore.

The Union government's flagship programme, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), is providing alternative livelihood options for the unemployed. So far, 5,54,143 people have been provided with job cards and 88,900 works taken up at an expenditure of Rs.567 crore.

Thanks to the Comprehensive Land Development Project (CLDP), 4,500 acres (1 acre equals 0.4 hectare) of fallow land owned by 4,254 people belonging to the Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes in backward areas is being converted into arable land.

Irrigation

The K.L. Rao Sagar (Pulichintala project) is expected to be completed by the end of 2011. It will stabilise an ayacut of nearly 13.10 lakh acres in Guntur, Krishna, Prakasam and West Godavari districts, besides generating 120 MW of hydroelectric power.

The water woes of the residents of Palnadu region would end once the Comprehensive Protected Water Scheme (CPWS) worth Rs.50 crore is put in place. The scheme would benefit 57 habitations in the Bollapalli mandal.

The project envisages drawing water from the Nagarjuna Sagar Project head regulator at Karampudi and storing it in a tank that is to be built at Ayyannapalem. Purified water would then be pumped to the reservoirs in villages.

As many as 152 lift irrigation schemes have been completed with funds worth Rs.144.47 crore. These schemes provide water to 1,05,157 acres of farm land. Dedicated power lines have been laid for 63 schemes at a cost of Rs.7 crore.

Ensuring protected water supply has been one of thrust areas of the district administration. The Rural Water Supply Department has taken up 36 projects with grants from the 12th Finance Commission.

The Ambedkar Jeevan Dhara scheme envisages provision of safe drinking water to 21 S.C. habitations. A summer contingency plan helped meet the acute drinking water crisis in Palnadu.

Industry

The district, which has been predominantly dependant on agriculture, has lagged behind in industrial development. In order to boost industry, an industrial blueprint was unveiled in November 2009, which is expected to attract massive industrial investment that could generate employment in the Palnadu region.

There are plans to set up a slew of industries in the district, including a solar city in Gurazala, a textile park at Edlapadu, a food park and a food processing unit at Rajupalem, a pharma city near Nizampatnam and an information technology (IT) park near Guntur.

On July 31, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone for an Apache shoe factory in Potthur village.

The prospects of setting up more cotton, ginning and textile factories have brightened if one goes by the level of interest shown by entrepreneurs at a seminar on Opportunities in weaving and garments industry on July 31. Efforts are on to set up a terminal market for marketing and processing vegetables, fruits and aromatic plants and a second chilli yard at Piduguralla.

Guntur district has been a role model in disbursing crop loans to tenant farmers, whose livelihood depends on agricultural activity alone.

Education

As a result of some innovative teaching methods, the pass percentage among students of Class X in government-run schools has improved considerably.

The Guntur district administration has got Rs.76.04 crore sanctioned for the implementation of the Rajiv Vidya Mission (RVM) previously called the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan for 2010-11.

The focus is on augmenting infrastructure and improving the quality of education being imparted under the scheme, which is a partnership project of the Central and State governments. Teachers salaries, block resource centres, teachers training, intervention for out-of-school children, civil works, maintenance and school grants are the major components of RVM.

Efforts are being made to enrol a higher number of children and retain them in the mainstream schools by first admitting them in residential bridge schools. RVM officials have identified 7,664 children for enrolment in the residential bridge schools.

An action plan to release a grant of Rs.500 each for teachers in 9,368 primary schools and 4,368 upper primary schools has been prepared. Orders have been issued to recruit more education volunteers to overcome the shortage of teachers.

A grant of Rs.14,000 each has been released to 296 school complexes to improve facilities. Ten-day training programmes are being organised for teachers to help them hone their skills.

A plan is under way to construct madrassas to cater to the educational needs of 6,660 children; they will impart modern education in addition to Urdu. A special education teacher has been appointed for each one of the 57 mandals to teach 8,828 physically challenged children at their homes.

As regards civil works, the target was to construct 507 new classrooms, 93 toilets in urban areas and 411 toilets in rural areas, and provide drinking water facility in 15 schools during the year. The government has sanctioned Rs.57.08 lakh for undertaking major repairs in 59 schools in the district; of this, a sum of Rs.30.58 lakh has already been spent.

Repairs to 43 school buildings have been completed and 10 are in progress. The mandal parishad primary schools at Edwardpet and Pittambanda were upgraded as upper primary schools in the current year so as to secure more funds and facilities in the years ahead. The two schools were provided Rs.50,000 each for procuring teaching/learning material.

The State Education Department has sanctioned Rs.46.28 lakh for research and evaluation activities. A major share of the budget Rs.2.34 crore has been earmarked for implementation of Educational Management & Information System (EMIS) for effective administration of schools.

The district administration has decided to continue with the Kasturba Gandhi girls schools in 18 backward mandals to provide education to girls.

Priority is attached to the implementation of the National Programme for Education of Girls at Elementary Level (NPEGEL), under which girls are being educated in 144 cluster schools in 18 mandals.

According to RVM Project Officer M.D. Chaitanya, the NPEGEL is an important component of the RVM that provides additional support for enhancing girls education.

Health care

The Medical and Health Department of Guntur district stood first in the State last year in the implementation of family planning, the National TB Control Programme and in the utilisation of Untied Funds to Sub-Centres (UFSC). It is also ranked second in meeting the child immunisation target and in utilising Village Health and Sanitation Funds (VHSF). It is seeking to better its performance in the coming years by improving the infrastructure and ensuring a greater degree of cooperation among all stakeholders.

A total of 40,785 sterilisations were done during 2009-10 as against the target of 39,000. Under the immunisation programme, 90,925 children were fully vaccinated against the proportionate target of 82,261. Almost 96 per cent of the deliveries were carried out in hospitals and primary health centres (PHCs).

District Medical and Health Officer M. Gopi Naik told Frontline that out of the Rs.180.89 lakh released in 2009-10 a sum of Rs.180.62 lakh was spent on the Janani Suraksha Yojana . The government had released Rs.191.78 lakh for the Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) programme in the same year. The amount spent was Rs.201.19 lakh.

The district has about 118 PHCs, served by 138 doctors. New buildings are being constructed for nine centres. Gopi Naik said the PHCs were being rationalised to improve public access to health care institutions.

Steps are being taken to control communicable diseases. Four dengue cases and 75 malaria cases were reported in the year but there has been no casualty. Anti-larval activities and vector control measures are being taken to contain the mosquito menace. Special medical camps were conducted to treat diarrhoea cases.

As regards the human immunodeficiency virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), Gopi Naik said 51,543 positive cases were recorded in the last five years, including the 8,677 identified during 2009-10. A total of 33,178 cataract operations were performed (101.14 per cent) under the National Programme for Control of Blindness. The 108 services helped save 63,396 lives through 36 ambulances. Of them, 12,385 were ante-natal cases. Nearly 6,91,780 patients were treated through the 104 service at fixed day health clinics.

Housing

Under the Indiramma Housing Scheme, construction of 2.03 lakh houses has been taken up in three phases; of this, the construction of 1.35 lakh houses has been completed at a cost of Rs.400.76 lakh.

Housing in rural areas got a push when the construction of 23,836 houses was taken up at a cost of Rs.102 crore; of this the construction of 16,290 houses have been completed. Internal roads, drains and electricity have been provided at a cost of Rs.11.96 crore. The State Housing Department is giving Rs.20,000 towards additional construction costs for each S.C./S.T. beneficiary.

The Indiramma Housing Programme, which was taken up in 2005, is being executed in right earnest under the guidance of Project Director G.V. Prasad. Under the scheme, the construction of 2,26,798 pucca houses was taken up, of which 1,49,824 has been completed. It has been achieved in three phases. The housing corporation is also constructing group housing complexes in Guntur, Tenali and Mangalagiri under the Rajiv Gruha Kalpa (RGK) scheme. The RGK complex at Adavitakkellapadu in Guntur, completed in March 2008, consists of 1,088 flats in 34 blocks, each of them measuring 254 square feet. Chief Minister Rosaiah inaugurated Guntur's second RGK complex, constructed at a cost of Rs.6.80 crore, at Balajinagar. It has 12 blocks and 384 flats.

Under the Indiramma scheme, pensions amounting to Rs.78.55 crore are disbursed to 1,88,537 beneficiaries every month. Apart from them, over one lakh more beneficiaries are covered under the schemes for old-age pensioners, handloom weavers and physically handicapped people.

The public distribution system, key to ensuring food security, has been put back on track in Guntur district. The turnaround comes after months of effort in identifying and plugging loopholes in diversion of stocks, timely allotment of stocks from mandal-level stock points and ensuring delivery to fair price shops before the last day of every month.

The exercise improved the delivery mechanism of the PDS in the district.

The PDS, with 2,617 fair price shops, covers an estimated three lakh people in the district. Guntur district gets a monthly allotment of 2,998 kilolitres of kerosene, 14,701 metric tons of rice, 592 MT of sugar and 80 MT of wheat.

A letter from the Editor


Dear reader,

The COVID-19-induced lockdown and the absolute necessity for human beings to maintain a physical distance from one another in order to contain the pandemic has changed our lives in unimaginable ways. The print medium all over the world is no exception.

As the distribution of printed copies is unlikely to resume any time soon, Frontline will come to you only through the digital platform until the return of normality. The resources needed to keep up the good work that Frontline has been doing for the past 35 years and more are immense. It is a long journey indeed. Readers who have been part of this journey are our source of strength.

Subscribing to the online edition, I am confident, will make it mutually beneficial.

Sincerely,

R. Vijaya Sankar

Editor, Frontline

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
×