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Shooting without mobile was good: Rathnavelu

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Well-known cinematographer Rathnavelu on Monday said challenging as it was to shoot without mobile coverage for an upcoming yet-untitled Telugu film, there was something good about the experience.

Rathnavelu is currently working on Ram Charan’s project with director Sukumar.

“The 20 days without mobile network filming in Godavari district was a nightmare! Coming back to city realised the mobile detox was good though,” Rathnavelu tweeted.

The makers over the weekend completed the film’s first schedule in Rajahmundry.

A rural-based romantic saga, the film has a 1980s backdrop. It also stars Samantha Ruth Prabhu.

Ram Charan has gone fully rural for this project.

The film is being produced by Mythri Movie Makers.

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End of ‘Rajahmundry’ : The process set in motion

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It is official now. closing the chapter of Rajahmundri, Andhra Pradesh government today set in motion the change of name of Rajahmundry to Rajamahendravaram. A GO has been issued this afternoon to this effect by Revenue Principal secretary J C Sharma. With this ‘Rajahmundry’ city will be called “Rajamahendravaram”and Rajahmundry Revenue Division and Rajahmundry Revenue Mandals (Urban & Rural ) as ‘Rajamahendravaram Revenue Division and Rajamahendravaram Revenue Mandals (Urban & Rural ) respectively. A gezette publication The Commissioner of Printing, Stationery and Stores Purchase, Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad is requested to Publish the Notification in an Extra- Ordinary Issue of the Andhra Pradesh Gazette, dated:19-10 -2015.

The Collector, East Godavari District will publish the preliminary notification in the District Gazette for information of the public and give vide publicity calling for suggestions and objections from the people affected by the said notification and furnish the same to Government along with his remarks through Chief Commissioner of Land Administration, A.P., Hyderabad after 30 days from the date of publication of the notification in the District Gazette. After the proeces, the name change will come into force.

The last cabinet meeting took a decision to revert back to Rajahmahendravaram from existing Rajahmundry.

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Rajahmundry now Rajamahendravaramu

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In tune with chief minister Naidu’s plan to develop Rajahmundry into a cultural capital of Andhra Pradesh, state cabinet today approved the proposal to change the name Rajahmundry into Rajamahendravaram. Naidu on the valedictory day of Godavari Pushkaralu,on July 26, announced that he would develop the city as the cultural centre of successor state of Andhra Pradesh by setting up institutes for Telugu literature, arts, literature and tourism. Rajahmundry is one of the few cities in India that has had a recorded urban existence of nearly a thousand years.

An important Hindu religious center, a center of Telugu literati and a royal capital for a branch of the Eastern Chalukya kingdom in the eleventh century, Rajamahendravaram or Rajahmahendri got shortened into Rajahmundry at a point of time in History. It is not clearly known when. But the change was attributed to British.Some dispute stating the name got shrunken during Mughal period.Chief minister Naidu assured to the people of the city that he would work to revive the past glory of the city on the Banks of river Godavari under a program called Akhanda Godavari project at a cost of Rs 100 cr. The project envisages improvement of temple towns like Palkollu, Narasapuram, Antarvedi and the Konaseema area apart from Rajamahendravaram. The CM said 51 acres of land belonging to the Central Jail would be developed as an infrastructure hub by constructing a convention centre, exhibition, multi-theatre complexes and others. He also said Telugu University, Kandukuri Veeresalingam Theistic education institutions, Damerla Art Gallery, Gowthami Library and others would be developed. Citing the reference to Vinakota Peddanaamtya’s “Kavyalankarana Choodamani” historians suggested that the town was built by Raja Raja Narendra who named it after his father in law Rajendra Chola.

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The cultural history of Rajamahendravaram spans from Adikavi Nannaya to recent days via Kandukuri Veeresalingam . The city has a unique place in the freedom movement as well. Extremist leader Bipin Chandra Pal, as part of Vandemataram movement, chose to the visit the place in April 1905 and delivered an inspiring speech, which was translated into Telugu by Chilakamarthi Lakshminarasimham. The place he addressed had become popular as ‘Pal chowk’ which is now Kotipalli Bus stand. Annie Besant visited Rajahmundry twice. First, she came when the foundation of a branch of the Divya Gyan Samaj building at Alcot Gardens was being laid. She came again during the opening ceremony of the building.

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Because of its strategic site on the Godavari River and on the major north-south road along the eastern coast, Rajahmundry served as a commercial center for its hinterland in the past. In the eighteenth century the British made it the administrative headquarters of a district. In the mid-nineteenth century, however, the district administrative functions were transferred to Kakinada, the sea port and banking center of the district, while Rajahmundry retained the district court, the government high school, and a few governmental engineering offices. The town thus reverted to its former position as a minor administrative center. By the middle of the nineteenth century Rajahmundry had expanded beyond the confines of the old city. The cluster of temples and houses, backed by a commercial lane, hugged the river front and left little space for new administrative buildings. The British constructed buildings far to the south of the old city, and they laid out a new residential suburb, Innespet, on a rectangular grid plan. To the north of the old city were the residences of senior British officials, ‘the Club,’ and the compounds of Lutheran missionaries. Beyond these Western residences and offices ringing the old city were hamlets, as yet unincorporated, and villages whose inhabitants worked in the town. Despite its three distinct zones the old city, the new residential areas, and the surrounding villages Rajahmundry was still, in I871, little more than a large village. It had only one commercial area and its population was just 19,000. But during the next thirty years, Rajahmundry’s population nearly doubled, reaching just over 36,ooo by 190I.

The urban growth of Rajahmundry depended on two sources: population increase and immigration. Population increase in the Godavari District, and hence in Rajahmundry, varied from decade to decade, apparently because of famine conditions there during the I870s and I890s. These decades of relatively low population increase were also the decades of Rajahmundry’s greatest growth. (with inputs from ‘Urban Government under the Raj: A Case Study of Municipal Administration in Nineteenth-Century South India’ by John G. Leonard Source: Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 7, No. 2 (1973), pp. 227-251)

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Myths and realities of Godavari – Krishna Inter Linking : An expert’s view

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[intro]Telugu360.com has requested former Chief Technical Adviser to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO/UN), Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy, to present views on TDP Government’s much publicized inter linking of  Godavari – Krishna rivers  this week. In this guest essay he discusses about Polavaram, Pattiseema projects and Inter linking of rivers[/intro]

I did the inter-linking of Godavari River with Krishna River during 1964-69 on many occasions of my travel in train Guntur to Visakhapatnam via Vijayawada to Rajahmundry. I used to fill Krishna water in a bottle at Vijayawada and put that water into Godavari at Rajahmundry and vice versa . I enjoyed this. Now i read a story (by Tanaya Singh in BetterIndia)which says that the TDP government is the first to inter-link the Godavari water with Krishna River. The story says the Godavari River water from Tadipudi lift irrigation was pumped in to Polavaram Right Canal and this reaches Krishna River Prakasam barrage. The TDP Government plan was to pump water of Godavari from Pattiseema lift irrigation project in to the Polavaram right canal to Krishna River.

Justice Bachawat Tribunal approved the inter-linking of Godavari River with Krishna River through Polavaram project [it is a multipurpose project with 960 MW of power production]. With this 80 TMC of surplus water in Krishna River basin becomes allotted water. In this AP share is 45 TMC. For Polavaram Project in 80s Chief Minister Anjaih laid the foundation stone but nothing moved afterwards. In 2004 Dr. Y. S. Rajashekara Reddy took over as Chief Minister of the State. He started the work [got most of the necessary approvals] including first phase of rehabilitation and right left canals excavation before his death. Dr. YSR’s government released excellent R & R Package. As part of this, Pulichintala project was initiated [I was a member of the CFE committee in APPCB which cleared the project – three collectors agreed with my proposal to give land to land for displaced]. If Dr. YSR would have been alive this project would have been completed and Rayalaseema would have benefited from the inter-linking of Godavari with Krishna. Here the water moves through gravity from Godavari to Krishna, which is real inter-linking of rivers.

Now present TDP Chief Minister says, he laid foundation stone to Tadipudi lift irrigation project so, it is his baby [inter-linking]. Unfortunately, NTR laid foundation stones for several projects but none of them started work. The Present TDP Chief Minister also laid second time foundation stones where NTR laid the foundation stones prior to 2004. With this we lost the flood water use from Krishna basin [8 projects]. All these projects were proposed in Congress time in 70s-80s only. TDP rulers simply laid foundation stones. Under Jalayagnam Dr. YSR initiated all the projects [proposed in 80s] by giving funds. Now, TDP government says, though they abused on Jalayagnam projects now they claim Tadipudi lift irrigation project is their own, so they own the inter-linking of the rivers.

A report in Andhra Jyothi, 20 June 2014 state that in Telangana under Jalayagnam 25 projects were initiated to irrigate 22,77,416 acres at a cost of about Rs. 21,506 crores. So far around 14,321 crores were spent on them. After Dr. Y. S. Rajashekara Reddy death in 2009, the later governments failed to speeding up the construction activity as: if they are completed the benefit goes to Dr. Y. S. Rajashekara Reddy. To complete the projects around Rs. 11, 440 crores are needed in which original estimate is Rs. 7,185 crores plus an addition of Rs. 4,255 crores [escalation costs]. However, the new government is playing politics and wanted to change the projects. Some of them are nearly completed. These projects include under Krihna River as well Godavari River. One of the major projects initiated on Godavari River is Pranahita-Chevella project that is expected to meet the drinking and irrigation needs in 7 districts out of ten districts of Telangana and thus bring down the cost of water grid project initiated at Rs. 40,000 crores.

Have you seen the water that flowed from Tadipudi lift irrigation project built by Dr. YSR government in to Polavaram right canal which was built by Dr. YSR government – it is a muddy water [irrigation minister & TDP leaders have a dip in that water] pumped in to mud canal [TV channel showed this – water flow cutting the banks and carrying red sandy soil with it and will deposit it in to Krishna River].

Tanaya Singh says in the write up the Pattiseema project is meant to supply water to Rayalaseema. May be the writer has no knowledge on the Rayalaseema projects and Pothireddypadu head regulator are not yet finished after Dr. YSR death – everybody is afraid that these are completed Dr. YSR will get the credit.

TDP leader including NTR were never interested to take up irrigation projects due to regional politics. NTR completed Telugu Ganga project with most of the money was given by Tamil Nadu Government to take drinking water to Chennai – but on the day of opening the canal breeched submerging vast cropped lands in Rayalaseema.

Inter-linking of Rivers – by definition, the water from One River joins another river through gravity. Lift irrigation does not come under inter-linking of the rivers as the flow water will not connect the two rivers. So, water taken from Godavari through Tadipudi or Pattiseema through lift irrigation will not connect the two rivers through water flow. Unfortunately no irrigation expert says this is not a inter-linking of rivers. This is our political experts!!!

Tadipudi was built by Dr. YSR government and Polavaram Right Canal was excavated by Dr. YSR government. TDP government simply lofted water from Tadipudi and put in to Right Canal. So, the credit of inter-linking [?] as propagated goes to Dr. YSR and not to TDP government. Tadipudi water is meant for Godavari district and not for Krishna district.

Pattiseema lift irrigation project – it is meant to serve the real estate interests in the new capital city only and not to take water to Rayalaseema. Rayalaseema get water only by completing the pending works on projects in Rayalaseema and Polavaram.

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Close Shave for Naidu and Ministers in Godavari

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Chief minister Chandababu Naidu had a close shave in Godavari river when a boat a carrying media people touched the boat in which the CM and other ministers travelling on Friday near Rajahmundry.

When the two boats were about to hit, the drivers tactfully averted and saved the VIPs from being caught in accident.

Naidu, who has been  singlehandedly overseeing the whole of Pushkar arrangements, left for Kotilinagala ghat from Padmavathi ghat in a boat. The mishap happened on way to Kotilingala. Along with deputy chief minister N Chinna Rajappa, ministers Yanamala Ramakrishnudu, K Narayana, MP Murali Mohan, MLA G Buchhaiah Chowdary etc were accompanying the CM.

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Cabinet takes light of the Pushkarala stampede

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Andhra Pradesh cabinet which met in Rajahmundry for four hours took light of the stampede on the first day of Godavari Pushkaralu. The four-hour long meeting, held in R&B guest house in the city, devoted a just minute silence to pay condolences to those crushed to death in the stampede reportedly caused by the delayed pujas by chief minister a ghat which not designated for VVIPs.

Though chief minister Chandrababu Naidu announced Judicial inquiry into the causes of stampede deaths, the cabinet is said to be in favor of an inquiry by a retired judge. State government is not keen on getting a sitting judge of High Court appointed for inquiry. I &PR minister, Palle Raghuntha Reddy indicated to this effect after cabinet meeting .  This is likely to trigger opposition from opposition parties  as they have been demanding a probe by a sitting judge of the High Court.

The meeting, chaired by the chief minister,  went gaga about greatness of Andhra Pradesh, the resources available and state government’s commitment to build a new capital with international standards. The cabinet decided to send a team to study to beautiful capitals of Central Asia, Astana (Kazakhstan)and Ashgabat (Turkmenistan).

The minister  said Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggested that a team from state should  visit Kazakh and Turkmenistan capitals to study the architectural designs.  Palle said the state government was committed to build the capital with international standards. He said state would call upon Japan and Singapore to participate in the Swiss Challenge model to build the capital.

The cabinet called upon people of the state to celebrate the closing ceremony of Godavari Pushkaralu with state-wide participation in a grand way. The cabinet wants every family in the state to perform “deeparadhana” (lighting of lamp) as part of the Pushkara Jyothi to mark the closing of the Mahapushkaralu.

In a surprise turn, the cabinet fully backed TDP MLA Chintamaneni Prabhakar, who allegedly manhandled MRO Vanajakshi. Giving clean to chit to the MLA, the cabinet felt that the revenue official was at fault in not taking cognizance of the permission to mine the sand and for crossing the boundary of the district.

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Naidu Generous to Beggars as well

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To keep Godavari Pushkaralu free of beggars chief minister Chandrababu Naidu asked officials to check the menace with attractive compensation scheme.

The beggars would be given Rs 5000 as compensation for withdrawing from ghats, according to media reports.  Nearly 1,000 beggars have been spotted begging amid the crowds of Pushkaralu ghats creating problems.

The state government announced the `compensation scheme’ along with free food for the beggars if them keep themselves away and confined  to their homes till July 25. However, the media reported that  locals posing as beggars at the Pushkarams ghats to get the”beggars’ compensation”  According to East Godavari collector H Arun Kumar chief minister Naidu had taken the decision to compensate beggars in an effort to curb disruptions that could be caused by them during the Pushkarams.

“A separate committee headed by the district joint collector was also set up to check beggar menace  during Pushkarams. We will provide the reimbursement to genuine beggars after due verification at the end of the Pushkarams,“ said Arun Kumar.

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A Brief History of Amaravathi Master Plan

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Today, Singapore has delivered the  master plan for the development of the seed capital (administrative district of Amaravathi) proposed new capital city of Amaravathi. A 30-member team led by  S Eswaran, second minister, Home Affairs and Trade, today presented the copy of the  seed capital master plan to chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu in Rajahmundry. Preparation of Master Plan is the important stage in the development of capital Amaravathi. Now, the next stage of identifying the master developer and chief architect begins.In this connection, we are giving the brief history of the first stage of capital development for the benefit of readers.

Named after an ancient Buddhist city, the Capital City of Amaravati, is located between the cities of Vijayawada and Guntur. It will also soon be the seat of the Andhra Pradesh government.

To make the Capital City a world-class People’s Capital, the Government of Andhra Pradesh signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Singapore in December 2014.

The MoU envisages preparation of 1) Capital Region Concept Master Plan, 2) Capital City Master Plan, and 3) Seed Capital Area Detailed Master Plan.

During the deliberations between Singapore and Andhra Pradesh, K. Shanmugam, External Affairs Minister of Singapore met the Chief Minister on February 26, 2015.

The Government of Singapore had appointed Singapore’s Ambassador-at-large Gopinath Pillai as the special envoy to facilitate cooperation between the Government of AP and Singapore.

 Three Stages of Master Plan

 1) First Stage: In December 2014, the Government of Singapore, as per its commitment, had submitted the draft Capital Region Concept Master Plan in last December to the Chief Minister. Singapore-based consulting organisations Surbana and Jurong were engaged to prepare the Master Plan for Capital Region.

Following some revisions in the plan, the first stage – the Capital Region Plan – was completed and handed over to the Government of AP on March 30, 2015.

  • The Capital Region Concept Master Plan is for an area of about 7,420 sq.km. The Capital Region Plan provides Development Corridors that connect the Capital City and the Regional Centres.
  • The development Corridors provide opportunity for linear developments with Special Use Developments such as clean industries, Infrastructure projects, logistics-based activities are allowed along these corridors.
  • The upcoming national Projects i.e. Dedicated Freight Corridor along East Coast Economic Corridor, High-Speed Rail and Waterway 4 are integrated in the Capital Region Plan.

2) Second Stage: On May 25, 2015,  S. Iswaran, Second Minister of Government of Singapore along with the high-level delegation presented the Capital City Master Plan to the Chief Minister in Hyderabad.

  • The Capital City Master Plan is for an area of about 217 sq.km. This Plan will guide the development of Amaravati upto the year 2050.
  • The five key features of the Amravati Master Plan are: i) growing a vibrant economy; ii) creating a liveable Indian city; iii) enhancing connectivity and active mobility; iv) ensuring sustainability; and v) the People’s Capital.
  • Amravati will be built on land pooled from the contributions of the residents of the region. In return, they will receive plots of commercial and residential land in the city and share in the fruits of development for years to come.
  • The Capital City Area is planned for about 4 million people. Being developed as Capital City and a vibrant business hub, a total of about 1.8 million jobs are expected to be created in various sectors.
  • This would comprise of public sector, light and green industry, service sector IT, Finance, Tourism and support services to meet the requirements of the urban ecosystem.
  • The master plan provides zoning, urban design and development guidelines for the Capital City.
  • This master plan also provides for affordable housing, easy access to amenities such as schools, healthcare services, markets, and shopping malls, libraries and a university.
  • The master plan respects the sense of local identity and enhances appreciation for local heritage. It protects the existing religious and heritage sites and connects them to the network of MRT/BRT and roads to form tourism circuits.
  • Sustainability and efficient management of resources will form another important pillars of this new capital.

3) Third Stage: On July 20, 2015, the Seed Capital Area (SCA) Master Plan for Amaravati was presented to Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu in Rajahmundry. This also coincides with the Godavari Maha Pushkaram in Rajahmundry to mark the great beginnings of a historic capital city.

  • Seed Capital Area Master Plan is for an area of about 16.9 sq.km. The Seed Capital Area is planned for about 300,000 residents. Being developed as a vibrant business hub, a total of about 700,000 jobs are expected to be created in various sectors including government jobs.
  • The Seed Capital Area aspiration is to create a thriving state of the art Central Business District (CBD) for business and living. The Seed Capital Area master plan provides nodes and development corridors from transit-oriented development approach.
  • The city’s iconic developments include state-of-the-art government complex, city gateway, cultural centre, convention centre etc.
  • The Seed Capital would be developed in overall 5 phases. The various zones would comprise of central business district, residential townships, institutions, parks and gardens, water bodies, recreational spaces, water front etc.
  • Special emphasis has been laid to develop extensive walkways and pedestrianisation inter-linked with open and green spaces with a blue and green network of more than 25 kms to promote walk-to-work environment and non-motorised transport.
  • The Seed Capital Area master plan provides extensive downtown waterfront, waste management systems that would enable innovative methods for waste collection, transportation, treatment and resource recovery such as Waste-to-Energy, thereby creating a resourceful, safe and healthy city.

 

 

 

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A Tribute to River Godavari

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The river Godavari is described as sheer poetry in motion and many a poet is fascinated by it. It has not only inspired all writers of Andhra Pradesh and the region has produced some of the greatest poets in Telugu literature.

To begin with, the first known poet -`Adikavi’ Nannaya Bhattaraka belonged to this place and his translation of `Mahabharatha’ are the first as well as the best in Telugu literature. He was said to have been assisted by Narayana Bhattu who was also a luminary.

The great Srinadha who penned `Sringaranaishadham’ and Vemulavada Bhimakavi, known for ruthless criticism through poems, and the great reformer and writer Kandukuri Veeresalingam Pantulu are unforgettable in Telugu history.

Pavuluri Mallana was said to be the first `science poet’ having described mathematics in poems, humour writers Chilakamarthi Lakshminarasimham whose `Gayophakyanam’ sold over one lakh copies in early 20th century and Bhamidipati Kameswara Rao, the poet-duos of Tirupati Venkatakavulu and Venkataparvateeswara Kavulu who enthralled audience by reciting poems extempore, Kokkonda Venkataratnam who was a writer and contemporary of Veeresalingam Pantulu and founded the Gauthami Granthalayam in Rajahmundry, Panuganti Lakshminarasimha Rao who wrote the caustic `Sakshi’ and Mokkapati Narasimha Sastry who wrote `Barrister Parvatisam’, short story writer Sripada Subrahmanya Sastry, Kokkonda Venkataratnam, Sripada Krishnamurthi Sastri, were natives of this region.

Among later generation of poets were Devulapalli Krishna Sastry, Devarakonda Balagangadhara Tilak, Madhunapantula Satyanarayana Sastry, Avantsa Somasundar, Ismail, and Addepalli Mohana Rao.

The prolific writer Kovvali Lakshminarasimha Rao who wrote as many as 1,000 novels and stories for films, another film writer Bhamidipati Radhakrishna, Ushasri, Sanskrit poet Chilukuri Ramabhadra Sastry, freedom fighter and writer Krovvidi Lingaraju all belong to this region

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Rajahmundry Turns into Sea of Humanity

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Undeterred by the stampede, lakhs of people are thronging the puskharalu to take a holy dip in River Godavari.  The tragedy that struck the sacred  event on Tuesday morning seems to have had little effect on the devotees who are arriving in Rajahmundry in thousands in each hour.As many as 35, 81,101 devotees took a holy dip in River Godavari on the occasion of Mahapushkaralu in the past four days. On Friday alone, till noon in day, in all ghats of Rajahamundry about 8.65 lakh people took a holy dip. Total number of pilgrims visited the pushkaralu is 916123 while this after between 1pm and 3 pm as many as 66,907 pilgrims arrived in the town.

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Rajahmundry Becomes Temporary Capital of AP

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Following the stampede at Kotagummam Pushkar ghat near Rajahmundry on Tuesday, and chief minister Chandrababu Naidu wanting to personally oversee the Pushkara arrangements to avoid the repetition of such  mishap, Rajahmundry has become temporary capital of Andhra Pradesh.

As the chief minister Chandrababu Naidu  will remain there till July 25, entire administration has moved from Hyderabad to Rajahmundry. Already entire cabinet is camping in the city crisscrossing  the city in the name of overseeing the arrangements for  devotees at various ghat.

The chief minister believes that the stampede in which about 30 devotees crushed to death due to lack of proper planing and execution, he announced that he would remain in Rajaymundry till closure of the Pushkaralu.

Yesterday he made lightning visits to some pushkar ghat to see the arrangments and to interact with the devotees.

On Thursday morning, he reviewed the progress of  Polavaram and Pattiseema projects. Tomorrow he is going to Vijayawada to participate in the Iftar party hosted by Andhra Pradesh government.

Similarly, he asked the Singapore exports to come over to Rajahmundry  to present the master plan of the capital city Amaravathi.

Chief secretary IVR Krishna Rao, DGP Venkata Ramudu and other senior officials are operating from Rajahmundry.

So, Naidu is now also planning to hold the cabinet meeting  in Rajahmundry.

The previous cabinet meeting was held on July 4 and reviewd the arrangements for Pushkaras. It is said that CM reportedly expressed displeasure over tarday progress of the works in the meeting. It was in this meeting that that endowments minister Manikyal Rao reportedly told chief minister he was totally out of loop as far as the arrangement were concerned.

It is in this backdrop, Naidu once again wants to review the whole situation in the next cabinet meeting.

Of late, Naidu is holding a cabinet meetings once in fortnight. According to sources in the government, the meeting is likely on  next Tuesday or Wednesday  “The date has not been finalized yet. But, CM is planning to hold the meeting in a couple of days,” sources in the government told Telugu360.com.

 

 

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President Condoles the Loss of Lives at Pushkaralu

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The President of India Pranab Mukherjee has condoled the loss of lives in a stampede at the Pushkarulu Ghat of Godavari River in Rajahmundry District of Andhra Pradesh.

In his message to E.S.L. Narasimhan, the Governor of Andhra Pradesh, the President has said “I am saddened to learn about the stampede at the Pushkarulu Ghat of Godavari River in Rajahmundry District of Andhra Pradesh, where a number of devotees have lost their lives and many others are injured. I understand relief and rescue operations are currently underway.

“I call upon the State Government and other authorities to provide all possible aid to the bereaved families, who have lost their near and dear ones as well as medical assistance to the injured.

Please convey my heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased. I wish speedy recovery to the injured persons.”

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Pawan’s Condolences to Stampede Victims

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Janaseana president and movie star Pawan Kalyan expressed condolences to the families of those who perished in the stampede that took place in Rajahmundry this morning.

Pawan Kalyan Tweeted that he was deeply shocked by the gory tragedy.

Though, he wanted to be among these people at this hour of tragedy, he was refraining to rush to the Pushkara town as his presence would dislocated the relief activities, he Tweeted.

Pawan called upon his Janasena volunteers to partake in the activities and extend all the help.

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Own Up Responsibility & Resign: Chiru Tells Naidu

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Grieving at the unprecedented deaths in the stampede at Godavari Pushkaralu this morning, Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member Chiranjeevi demanded that CM Chandrababu Naidu should resign owning up responsibility for the poor arrangements and his inability to organize the Pushkaralu in an orderly way.

He  squarely blamed chief minister Naidu for the tragedy in which about 27 people were killed.

He said Naidu’s key adviser of Pushkaralu was inexperienced  and was lacking in administrative capabilities hence these accidents.

“Tears do not wipe off your responsibility and culpability” he told Naidu.

The incident exposed the inability and irresponsibility of the government. ” Even though the CM publicised to celebrate the Pushkaralu on the lines of Kumbh Mela, but it lacked any scientific plan and execution,” he said wondering.

“That the tragedy struck at the very first hour of the commencement of Pushkaralu was indicative of the failure of the government on all counts,” he said asking what did CM Naidu do the all these days visiting Rajahmundry frequnetly when the arrangements were not in place.

“This is the result of the CM appetite  for propaganda rather than concrete commitment to ensure the success of the Puskharalu” Chiranjeevi said.

Chiranjeevi took strong objection to the CM style of functioning.  He said the CM tied down all the officials in numerous review meeting preventing them from doing the works assigned to them.

Referring to BJP leader Kanna Lakshminarayana’s statement that Pushkarala arrangements were not up to satisfactory, Chiranjeevi said the statement was proven correct.

The former union minister expressed displeasure at how endowments minister Manikyal Rao was sidelined in the run up to the Pushkaralu.

” TDP leaders themselves vouchsafed that everything is being overseen by CM himself and no need to consult other cabinet colleagues. When the CM is alone responsible for the arrangements, he should own up the failure and step down,” he demanded.

Chiranjeevi recalled how Chandrababu Naidu demanded resignation of the then chief minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy  when some people died in the stampede at the time of Krishna Pushkaralu.

Naidu should question his conscience in the light of his previous demand and take a decision on the resignation, he said. Chiranjeevi  said Rs 5 lakh exgratia was pittance compared to the loss of lives and  demanded  an exgratia of Rs 20 lakh for the bereaved families.

APCC president N Raghuvira Reddy also joined Chiranjeevi in demanding resignation of  Chandrababu Naidu.  They said a Congress team  will visit  Rajahmundry today to console the families of those who died in the stampede.

 

 

 

 

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Tragedy Struck AP Pushkaralu: 35 Killed

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Tragedy struck   Godavari Pushkaralu in Andhra Pradesh. On the first day, as pilgrims thronged the pushkar ghat in Rajahmundry in crowds, stampede took place  resulting in the death of 35 people.  The stampede began at 9.30 in the morning. About 60 injured.

There has been  no announcement of death toll officially from the government.

The tragedy exposed the unpreparedness of the government machinery to meet such an eventuality.  Most of the deceased are women.  According to information reaching Hyderabad, death toll is likely to go up.   This happened at the ghat where  chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu was taking  holy dip. CM has been camping at the Rajahmundry and reviewing the arrangement. After the incident, no minister is daring to visit the stampede venue as they fear attack from the angry pilgrims.

While the stampede created disorder, pilgrims complain the disorder at the ghat had resulted in the stampede. Many complain the toll-free service numbers were out of order. In the melee many children are said to have got lost in the crowds.

People said police had started stopping the pilgrims since 4.30 in the morning because of VVIP presence at the Kotagummam Pushkar ghat, the place of the tragedy.

According to  a visitor, the stampede took place because of VVIP menace. ” To allow chief minister take holy dip in Godavari, security personnel closed all gates in the morning. During the interregnum thousands of pilgrims  reached  and gathered at the venue and found no gate was open to them. After some time, when the CM’s offerings were over, the gates were opened for the public. When the officials opened the first gate, all pilgrims, who gathered there in great number, rushed to enter through first gate  leading to stampede” a  visitor told media.

The incident happened on the steps of the ghat leading to the river. When people ran towards ghat, women got stuck and fell on steps. There were crushed to death, officials said.

“Apparently many devotees who reached after night long travel wanted to take holy dip morning. Buth they were stopped  because of VVIP puja as part of the inauguration of Maha Pushkaralu. Sleepless travel coupled with a long-wait since early in the morning might have caused exhaustion. And in the stampede these women were subjected to suffocation causing their death,” an official told Telugu360.com from Rajahmundry control room.

The bodies and the injured rushed to the hospital with great difficulty.

Situation at the hospital in the city is tense with family members crying inconsolably at sudden death of their dear ones.

Officials have identified some bodies. They are Budhavarapu Lakshmi ( Endagandi. E.Godavari),Gorla Gangamma ( Pendurthi ,Visakha),Ratnam (Yanam),Desineni Krishnakumar (Vemagiri. E. Godavari)Paramma ( Badangi, Vizianagara dist),Appalaswamy (Bobbili),Krishnaiah (Yanam),Narsmma (Srikakulam),Venkataiah Naidu Janakamma (Nellore),Parvatamma ( Vizianagaram),K Kalavati (Srikakulam),Paturi Amaravathi(Amudalavalasa),Venkatalakshmi (Rajahmundry) and Narayanamma( Tuni)

Relief commissioner Reddy told Telugu360.com that a woman died while taking dip in river. This, he said, was not related to the stampede.

Rs 10 Lakh Exgratia

CM Cries

Chief minister Chandrababu Naidu announced an exgratia of Rs 10 lakh to the family of those who died in the stampede.

Speaking to the media, the CM said the unfortunate incident took place despite every precautionary measure. Tears welled up from his eyes when he was talking to press people.

He said he would stay put in Rajahmundry till the last day of Pushkaralu.

“Maha Pushkaram will take place till July 25. People can take holy dip in any of these 12 days. I request people not to rush to one single ghat” CM asked the people.

Chief minister Naidu urged the pilgrims to observe restraint as the government was trying to take control of the situation. He said the government would come to the aid of the bereaved families. He promised  all medical help to the injured.

He said the stampede  occurred when all the pilgrims tried to enter from same gate  ie gate one.

Naidu himself is overseeing the arrangements of the Pushkaralu. Al the injured have been shifted to Rajahmundry hospital.

The stampede resulted in traffic jam in the city.   The life in the city has gone haywire. According to pilgrims, the road leading from Bommuru to Rajahmundry has witnessed terrible traffic jam since 8.30 in the morning. No cops were seen there around to clear the  vehicles that stuck in the traffic.

Health minister Kamineni Srinvas visited the hospital and inquired about the treatment being given to the injured.

” The pilgrims reached  in unexpected numbers. And all tried to enter the ghat from the gate  resulted in the stampede. The incident was unfortunate,” the minister said.

Prime Minister Mody Dismayed

Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed pain at the loss of lives due to stampede at Rajahmundry. He Tweeted that he spoke to Naidu and said state government was  working to bring normality.The Prime Minister expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased.

KCR Shocked

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao expressed shock at the stampede that resulted in the scores of death. He expressed condolences to the  bereaved families.

Jagan leaves for Rajahmundry

Opposition leader and YSRC president YS Jagan  left for Rajahmundry from Hyderabad. He expressed shock at the tragedy that struck the Pushkaralu.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Miss-call Response to Pushkara Pilgrims

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Andhra Pradesh government has launched “Missed Call to SMS information on Godavari Puskharalu 2015” service  to provide  real-time updates to pilgrims on Godavari Maha Pushkaralu.

Citizens can just give a miss-call to toll free number 8333000020. The call will be disconnected, and the citizen will receive an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) call.

Over the call, the user can get real-time information on Pushkar ghats, temples, hotels, road and rail network and other emergency details. Later, an SMS will be sent  to the individual based on the information sought during the IVR call.

In addition, 25 Pushkar Information centers are positioned at strategic locations in the vicinity of ghats. These centers are equipped with an automated Kiosk machine and free internet facility to seek information on the availability of banks, ATMs, hotels, Pushkar Ghats, emergency contacts etc. The automated kiosk also helps citizens to navigate to a specific place.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Photos from Godavari Pushkaralu Rajahmundry

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Our Exclusive photo coverage of Godavari Pushkara Harathi and Other arrangements from Rajahmundry

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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