Andhra Pradesh: External Affairs Minister visits Paderu and promises to bring tribal issues to Center’s attention

Union External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar who visited Paderu in Alluri Sitaramaraju district on Monday said he would bring the problems faced by the residents to the attention of the Centre.

Mr. Jaishankar chaired a review meeting with senior officials from the ITDA office in Paderu as part of his visit to the tribal areas on Monday.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi is making every effort to develop ambitious neighborhoods. Measures will be taken to address the issues of electricity, clean water, education, health, roads and connectivity, besides the development of agriculture in the district,” he said.

The Union Minister said he would talk to his counterpart in the Ministry of Rural Development and initiate measures for the development of rural areas. Disparities in various sectors would be corrected, he said.

District Collector Sumit Kumar gave a presentation on the development activities undertaken in the district. He gave an overview of the district to the minister, including its area, population, and penetration of medical and education services.

“As part of Mission Connect Padery, it has been identified that 979 villages have no roads and 40 villages have no electricity. The ITDA has made proposals to address these issues over the next three years. Drinking water programs were resumed at a cost of ₹239 crore under the Jal Jeevan MIssion. The state government is focused on improving health services,” the collector said, adding that most of the complaints received under the “Spandana” grievance redress program were about lack of roads, drinking water supply and internet connectivity.

The collector brought the problems of the language volunteers, who were appointed for the educational development of the tribal people, to the attention of the Union minister. He said pattas for more than 1 lakh acres were distributed to beneficiaries under the Forest Rights Act.

Earlier, Mr. Jaishankar toured an exhibition of tribal products organized under the aegis of Velugu.

He also visited coffee plantations at Gurra Garuvu village of Paderu Mandal. ITDA Project Manager R. Gopalakrishna briefed the Minister on coffee farming, intercropping and income earned by tribal people. He said the ITDA provided ladders, baby pulpers and other tools at preferential rates to beneficiaries.

Later, the minister inspected the construction works of a medical college in Paderu, which was resumed at an estimated cost of ₹500 crore. He also offered prayers at the Sri Modakondamma Temple.

Paderu MLA K. Bhagyalakshmi, Sub Collector V. Abhishek, SP Satish Kumar and Medical Council Member T. Narasinga Rao were among those who attended the meeting.

Shirlene J. Manley