`Creation of Telangana would fuel demands for separate Seema`

Last Updated: Thursday, January 6, 2011 - 21:18

New Delhi: Creation of a separate Telangana
state will imply accepting the full demands of Telangana
people that will assuage "perceived sense of discrimination
and neglect", but would fuel agitation for a separate
Rayalaseema state, the Justice Srikrishna Committee has said.

In its 461-page detailed report, the five-member panel
on the statehood demand said its visits to the region in the
past 11 months indicate that a very large number of people in
Telangana were "highly supportive" of the demand for a
separate state, an appreciable segment was found to be neutral
while some sections were not in favour of it.
The report identified Warangal, west Khammam, Nizamabad,
Karimanagar, southern Adilabad, Siddipet in Medal, parts of
Nalgonda and Mahabubnagar as the areas where "strong
pro-Telangana elements" are present.

It also said the "most vociferous" and agitating sections
in the Telangana region are students of Osmania and Kakatiya
Universities, unemployed youth, lawyers and non-gazetted
government employees.

"This option (carving out of Telangana) implies accepting
the full demands of a large majority of Telangana people for a
separate state that will assuage their emotional feelings and
sentiments as well as the perceived sense of discrimination
and neglect," the committee noted.

It also said one of the implications of the option is
the impact on the internal security situation with the
anticipated growth of Naxalism and religious fundamentalism.

Another implication that the Committee pointed out in
case the option is considered is that the "agitation for
separation of Rayalaseema from coastal Andhra may also start
taking shape sooner than expected."
The committee said the neutral elements on the demand
for a separate state are the original population of Hyderabad,
including large segments of AIMIM, villages and mandals
bordering Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, coastal Andhra,
Rayalaseema and Karnataka and the settler villages and mandals
in the Telangana heartland and the migrant population in
Hyderabad from Seemandhra and other parts of the country.

The committee also said the aspirations of a large
section of tribals on the northern side of Telangana,
particularly the hill tribals, are for a separate state of
Manayaseema and of the tribal belt which cuts across Orissa,
Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, to be under a
single administrative system.

"The SCs/BCs and the minorities have their own
aspirations for appropriate political space, economic
development and reservation benefits," the report says.

The panel said it is of the view that given the long
history of the demand for a separate Telangana, the "highly
charged emotions" at present and the likelihood of the
agitation continuing in case the demand is not met,
consideration has to be given to this option.

The continuing demand, therefore, for a separate
Telangana, the Committee felt, has some merit and is not
entirely unjustified.

In case the option is exercised, the report says, the
apprehensions of the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema people and
others who have settled in Hyderabad and other districts of
Telangana with regard to their investments, properties,
livelihood and employment would need to be adequately
addressed.
It said confidence should be instilled in them that
their safety and security would get the highest priority from
the new dispensation.

The report also noted that if a separate Telangana option
is considered, this decision will give rise to serious and
violent agitations in the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema
regions, where the backlash will be immediate with the key
issues being Hyderabad and sharing of water and irrigation
resources.

Even though water and irrigation issues can be handled by
creating autonomous and semi-autonomous structures, the
apprehensions of the people of coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema
will continue to be voiced, the report said.

Noting that if a separate Telangana state is formed there
can also be local laws restraining physical movement of goods
and services between neighbouring regions and between states,
the committee said such fears are very strong in coastal
Andhra and Rayalaseema.

"There is apprehension that Hyderabad city as a market
destination and also a source of supply will be out of bounds
on the creation of Telangana with Hyderabad as a separate
state," the report says.

It also notes that coastal Andhra would also lose a
major market inherent in the huge population, business, and
market concentration of the city of Hyderabad.

On this count, the report says, division of Andhra
Pradesh can only be a negative factor which would inhibit
the economic growth of the newly formed states.

"Economically, the land locked region of Telangana may
also lose out on access and opportunities to the eastern
coastline which has a major port in Vishakhapatnam and many
other sea ports," the Srikrishna Committee said.

With vast discoveries of oil and gas on the anvil and
the resultant likely spurt in economic growth and employment
in the coastal region, an integrated economy is likely to
benefit the people of both regions optimally rather than
through separation by formation of Telangana state.

"However, the overall economic viability of Telangana
with Hyderabad is projected to be stable and as a matter of
fact the GDP of this state will be much larger than many other
states in the country," it said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, January 6, 2011 - 21:18

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