The AP scene today look confusing and contrasting under the leadership of icon leader Mr. Chandra Babu Naidu, the chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. However, after the bifurcation Andhra Pradesh state went to elections in 2014 amidst mixture of numerous problems that have been piled up before the coming government. Mr. Babu, being in opposition for long ten years made him to announce more electoral promises which some of them cannot be implemented such as ‘bring back babu and get the job’ and 2000 rupees for every unemployed youth and a job for each family, etc.,. Eventually he managed with by aligning with Modi and help of Modi wave across the country and cine star Pawan kalyan who have strong influence in the caste lines in two districts of Andhra Pradesh helped him to come to power. After coming to power most of the government policies, the functioning of the government and its bureaucratic institutions are working towards only for new capital AMARAVATHI’s development in which the government started construction in the Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh as against the suggestions made by Sri Krishna Committee, and leaving other administrative matters behind. Through this scrofulous act, mainly farmers got severely affected, even the Sri Krishna committee has proposed, that the capital cannot be established in the delta area where the farmer’s harvest three crops in a season. In this article, I am only critical of his vision of capital development, semi-successful pro-gram me of digitalization of governance, Particularly the Revenue department, partial implementation of debt relief scheme for farmers and loan waiver for women self-help groups.
The availability of contiguous terrain, and the willingness of a majority of farmers to give up their land, were the two other major reasons why this region was chosen. Also, the capital region is close to Vijayawada and Guntur, two developed cities. The Andhra Pradesh government got some 30,000 acres of land through Capital region Development Act (CRDA) by offering a residential house, commercial complex in the capital city, and a monthly monetary incentives for about ten years or so, to farmers whoever are willing to give up their land. For the rest of the land, the AP government tried to invoke land acquisition act but met with a lot of resistance by the opposition parties, especially Pawan kalyan, expressed his disappointment publicly and addressed farmers in an individual capacity, since the government backed off from the task. Latter, what has had happened is history. Now, let us see his idea for the state where he spelt on many occasion and on different political forums. He unveiled his vision of a grand capital that would, he said, match the world’s great cities in aesthetics, infrastructure, livability, connectivity, and as the seat of e-governance and administration. “Amaravati is envisaged to be developed as smart, green and sustainable city. In line with being developed as the People’s Capital of Andhra Pradesh, our aspiration is to create a vibrant, diverse, inclusive and modern city, which will be a symbol of pride for the people of Andhra Pradesh and India. It’s been almost three years he is in power, but nothing seemed to happening expect ‘look development’, here what I mean by ‘look development’ is nothing but providing infrastructure facilities where people mobilization is more like Airport, road transport with excellent electricity, plantation of trees across roads, bus stands with more commercial complex in the vicinity, conducting Krishna, Godavari Pushkaralu behalf of the government where the government has spent huge sum of public money are all to push people into an oblivion to show development is happening around, but that is not true, it occupies a tiny percentage in the developmental process. His hypocritical vision which he sets for himself as his political ends like by 2020, 2029 rather for the state, sabotaging the structure of economy, especially women and farmers are being wicked off. On the other occasion, while addressing India world summit in 2016, he said, he will make this infant State one among the top three in India by 2022, the best State in the country with “high Happiness Index” by 2029, and be the most preferred destination by 2050. He claimed that the capital would eventually become a major economic engine for the State and his government intended to develop it into a “Happy City,” As I stated in the first line itself, it looks confused and contrasting rather towards a happy city. There two reasons, one reason his focus confined only to the capital development, second reason is his poll promises which led to crop up issues among different caste and frustrations among unemployed youth, among farmers and women, the administration is yet to reach these sections of the people.
Concept of E-Governance
Here, I would like to highlight some of the facts from ground level, haplessly I had to undergone such experience that made me to up come with this. First of all, Revenue department is one among the other departments that came under e-governance. I observed, after the introduction of e-revenue governance, the corruption level is rampant, a curse for formers. I will give out my personal experience that I met very recently, my father is a farmer, we have sold some portion of our land to our neighbors, have to get it register for them. So my father is busy, he entrusted that work to me. I am going around Mandal Revenue office to get access to land records since I am naive about land issues of ours. Finally, I got to access to land records verified with the documents, but did not match. Our land was not registered in on line but registered with other neighbor name which was the case in many parts of the state the actual owner is different from what is being showing in e-revenue governing records, farmers are panicked about these issues. They have to go around offices and around revenue officials to get it in their name for which they have to start from VRO TO MRO, which is disgusting which I had to gone through, I can imagine if it was my father how could they pained him. Second observation, the corruption is flows from M-seva centers who are more charging more than an actual cost, VRO, Panchayat Secretary, Land surveyors, MRO and MDO who are, literally squeezing hard-earn money of former in different ways, this is deplorable and miserable. Third observation was, there was a resettlement survey in 60’s where survey numbers got changed and they digitalized the records at their will, registered with different names. The farmers have to pay for them to get register on their names is such scenario prevailed in the most of the places in the state. However, the recent report by Center for Media studies, says that there is no indication of the government taking measures to cut down corruption and especially these departments have become centers for corruption and perpetuating day by day. This Need to be stopped.
Debt Relief for farmers
This is one of the major electoral promises that made apart from many and one of the reason the brought TDP to power. As per the G.O. 174 released by the government, every family is entitled to avail 1.50lakh but What he has made is far different from what actually farmers are getting, still many farmers are getting bank notices to repay loan amount and in some banks, managers are not accepting the ‘loan waiver card’ given by the government, asking them to pay interest amount to accept. This Debt relief scheme is supposed to take at one time, but actually happening in installment based as a result interest for actual amount will increase by the time they repay loan. It’s been almost three years only two installments have taken place in each installment not more than 15,000rs was waived off in such case in a next two years, they have to pay the interest, forget about taking a fresh loan. Here, I quote the exact conversation between me and the field assistant in the bank where we took a loan and got the notice from the bank to repay though we come under debt relief scheme. He said, it would take at least 5 to 10 minutes to give bank account statement of loan details to every farmer, but CM wanted it to happen in a overnight, so there are many discrepancies that happened. Can’t help it. So far the Government has sanctioned only 11,000 crs out 24,000crs in the span of three years. Still, 15 lakh farmers are yet to be come under the scheme. So as the case with many farmers, I have literally gone to the agricultural office to find out the details of our loan, there I have seen many farmers sitting patiently for their turn to inquiry, holding loan waiver card in their hand, some are very old and some are young farmer, my heart literally cried, goes out to them. I thought, why do we have this kind of situation for farmers, where they always work hard to fill hunger of their family, of society. And is it wrong with political system of our country? Or is it malfunctioning of government? Or with political party which we adherent to? Still, searching for answers.
Women and Self-help groups
First let us see some politician’s attitude towards women. An MLA west Godavari district beat an women MRO for attacking on sand mafia (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrqZiyghT7M), a state minister from Guntur district being a Dalit threatened a women Muslim chairperson that he could remove her from post, encroached the powers of the chairperson by transferring some of employees at his will despite of many requests from her (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEjhsNhxplA), there was a big call money scam that broke out in the city of Vijayawada where the culprits are associates of MLC of ruling party and victims are middle and below middle class women. The women, whoever cannot repay the amount get raped by these persons and video graphing the scenes for demanding more money and to meet their ends. No action was initiated just because they belong to ruling party, which also led to suspend a women MLA from the house for demanding action against the culprits, for a year. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jc0ioBXwMC8), Another MLA who made lewd comments in the audio launch programme that ‘ When you like a women either you have to kiss her and make her pregnant’ such a provocative statements for a star-turned politician (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2HwVX6Kie8), a speaker of the state assembly made an obnoxious comments that ‘ women don’t get rape; if they park like a car in the shed’ he meant women is safe in kitchen not in public (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7f0P8Bkj33k). Their activist’s atrocities on women who raise their voices in villages are going unnoticed, it is so pathetic especially Dalit women have no voice in any matters of the village or at any level. Nevertheless, women is having difficult time and days, the laws need to be strengthened for the safety of the women and government should establish more friendly policing system.
As far as self-help groups are concerned, the situation is very different at ground level. My mother was a member in the one of the groups in our place where there are some 15 groups across our village. The loan waiver scheme the TDP government implemented has caused so much of damage to the middle class families. The reason is women in those groups are no longer interested in to continue in the groups to pay amount which almost became so complexed, many groups did not even get the loan waver amount. As per the government report every group is entitled to get 10,000rs loan waving but in three years, they have got only Rs 6000 which has become a severe hectic to go around banks. For example, a group has 15 members, have saved some amount of money in the bank, after somedays if they would like to withdraw that money, then hen all 15 members groups have to be present, have to sign then only they do get the required amount. Imagine if at least 5 groups come to the bank with 15 member each, it would become 75 members, how much time it would take to get signs and to sanction money, nothing but time consuming. Besides, Most of these women are daily wage workers in which they have to lose one productive working day, a daily wage sum. If only the main member of the group is allowed to take required money with all members’ signatures, it would be fine for all other members. At least either banks or governments should relax these rules for rural women.
All these issues are not directed at any single party or supporting other parties. This is to question the functioning of government by highlighting few things where I and my family have been associated with, experienced them. This, I wrote in a complete conscious and aware of the issues which are connected to most of our lives. I am writing this is to just show how the system has become so complex for rural area people, farmers and women. They are losing them productive days by spending whole day for mere signature and to show face in the government offices and banks. In the morning they have to be in queue in bank, in the evening they will be queue in ration store to get their goods. This complex system in the way to pursue technology has to be relaxed, where rural people slowly start cope up with the system. Until and unless, this kind of governance will not fetch desired ends expect bring more miserable complicated issues in the lives of people in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Most of the reference for this write up gathered from News Articles, and Debates.