SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT

SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL ENVIRONMENT

4.1 INTRODUCTION

The socio-economic and cultural environment studies are important in assessing the impacts of developmental activities on human beings. Environmental pollution by the industries also influences directly or indirectly the socio-economic environment.

The developmental activities in a region are meaningless unless such activities help in the socio-economic development of the region. The creation of employment opportunities for the local people is the direct impact. The changes in population composition of the region, multiplier benefits, education and health status of the local people, changes in land-use pattern (agricultural and industrial) and impacts on the cultural properties of the area are the indirect impacts. This chapter aims to evaluate pros and cons of the direct and indirect impacts of the industries located mainly in Patancheru and other Mandals (R.C.Puram, Jinnaram and Sangareddy) covered in Nakkavagu basin.

4.2 POPULATION

The population growth and urbanisation of the area can be attributed to the industrialisation, infrastructure development and proximity to Hyderabad (Mega-city). Industrialisation led to the growth of Patancheru and Ramachandrapuram as urban towns. National Highway No.9 (NH-9) that passes through Patancheru connects Hyderabad and Pune and also Secunderabad – Wadi railway line passes through the south-eastern parts of Patancheru. With accessibility of transportation facilities, Hyderabad is expanding in the north-west axis along NH-9 too. Percentage of rural and urban population and density of persons per square kilometer are shown in Figures 4.1 and 4.2 respectively. The composition of the population of urban areas, Mandals and Medak District is shown in Tables 4.1, 4.2 and 4.3.

Table 4.1 Urban area Population:
Place

Area (sq. km.)

Population

Density (pp.sq.km)

(Source: Population Census, 1991, in Handbook of Mandal Statistics, Medak District (1995)).

Table 4.2 Population of Patancheru and Sangareddy – 1981 and 1991 census

Place

Status

Population

% of (+) increase.

(Source: Population Census, 1991, in Handbook of Mandal Statistics, Medak District (1995)).

In Ramachandrapuram (R.C.Puram) the density of population is very high, this is due to its proximity to Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL)-a public sector company, the availability of all kinds of services and being an area less polluted, developed as a major town. BHEL Township built for its employees is well planned, having wide roads, parks and open spaces, which explains the low density. Patancheru in spite of being a major industrial area is less developed in comparison to Ramachandrapuram mainly because of obnoxious smell and water pollution. Overall Patancheru had shown very significant growth rate of population between 1981 to 1991, because of the growth and establishment of a number of industries during that period, in and around Patancheru. Sangareddy being administrative headquarter for Medak District is also shows higher growth rate of population may be because of immigrations.

Table 4.3 Area, No. Of Villages, Towns, Males and Females and total population

Name of the Mandal

Area in sq.kms.

Total inhabited villages

No. of towns

Males

Females

Population (persons)

(Source: Population Census 1991, in Handbook of Mandal Statistics, Medak District (1995)).

From Table 4.3 it is evident that Ramachandrapuram Mandal is small in area having few villages. Patancheru, Jinnaram and Sangareddy Mandals are comparable in size and have a number of villages in them. Jinnaram Mandal is not having any town, while rest of the Mandals are having one town each. Females per 1000 males are abnormally low for Patancheru and less in other three Mandals too, in comparison with the District ratio (Figure 4.3). In industrial areas working bachelors are usually found in large numbers, as industrialisation attracts many single male members that resulted in low sex ratio.

4.3 EDUCATION

The development of a backward region by the establishment of industries becomes meaningless unless local people can seize the opportunities. In the absence of educated local people the most sought after skilled and administrative posts are taken over by neo-immigrants. Therefore the local people will be limited to unskilled labour. Education plays an important role in the socio-economic development of the region.

Literacy and education generates awareness and awakening among people about the positive and negative impacts of industrial development. It helps people in judging the choice and location of industries and also become aware of the nature of pollution they would generate and take precautionary measures against environmental hazards. From Figure 4.4 and Table 4.4 it is evident that except in Ramachandrapuram and Sangareddy Mandals, in rest of the Mandals there is no great improvement in percentage of literates against Medak District literacy percentage.

Table 4.4 Literacy

Name of the Mandal

No. of literates (%age)

(Source: Population Census 1991 in Handbook of Mandal Statistics, Medak District (1995)).

Primary schools are good in numbers; upper primary and secondary schools can be improved for the Patancheru and Jinnaram Mandals. On an average one school is existing for a group of about 4 to 5 villages (Table 4.5). The students spend more time and energy in reaching the school. As the total population is very high in Sangareddy and Ramachandrapuram Mandals, they too require more number of upper primary and secondary schools. The number of Junior colleges and Degree colleges can also be improved. Industrial Training Institutes which train people for the skilled labour requirement in industries are to be increased, at present only one such institute is existing (Table 4.6).

Table 4.5 Number of Primary, Upper primary &Secondary primary schools-Enrollment (1993-94)

Primary school

Upper primary school

Secondary primary school

(Source: Handbook of Mandal Statistics, Medak District (1995)).

Table 4.6 Colleges / institutes

Patancheru

-One Government Junior college

-One Industrial training institute

(Source: Handbook of Mandal Statistics, Medak District (1995)).

4.4 HEALTH

It is the duty of a welfare state to look after the health of its people, for that reason medical facilities are provided by Government (Table 4.7). The medical facilities provided by Government are inadequate. In this kind of polluted environment people are prone to a variety of diseases and hence require timely and proper attention from the Government in providing medical facilities. A number of practicing private doctors are doing well, costing the pockets of innocent victims of pollution. A person cleaning with the polluted waters of Pamulavagu near Bachuguda is shown in Photo 4.1.

Table 4.7 Medical facilities, 1993-94

Patancheru

R.C.Puram

Jinnaram

Sangareddy

Medak dist.

(Source: Handbook of Mandal Statistics, Medak District (1995)).

The veterinary services available for domestic animals are given in Table 4.8. Several cattle and sheep suffered from deterioration of health and some died instantly after consuming the polluted water from streams and tanks. During summers when there are very few water bodies left with uncontaminated water, the thirsty animals in the fields have no other way, except to drink these polluted waters (Photo 4.2). During rainy season leachets from solid waste dumps and polluted water from overflowing effluent lagoons, enter into the fresh rainwater collected in pools, the unsuspecting animals, which blindly consume these polluted waters, get affected. Incidents of livestock accidentally becoming victims to polluted waters are many. In such an environment adequate drinking water facilities should be provided at various points for the convenience of animals. In this kind of hostile environment, the medical facilities provided for animals are inadequate.

Table 4.8 Veterinary services (1993-94).

Vet. Hospitals & dispensaries

(LSU and RLUS are the lower version of Vet. Hosp’s)

Vet. Doctors

Livestock inspectors

(Source: Joint director, Animal Husbandry Medak dist, in Handbook of Mandal Statistics, Medak District (1995)).

4.5 LAND-USE

Land-use trends in Nakkavagu basin are shown in Figure 4.5 and in Table 4.9. Agriculture dominates the land-use pattern as seen in Patancheru, Ramachandrapuram and Sangareddy Mandals.
Percentage of forest area is considerable only in Jinnaram Mandal. There is no forest area in Patancheru, Ramachandrapuram and Sangareddy Mandals. Barren and uncultivable land is less in Sangareddy and Ramachandrapuram Mandals whereas District (7%) average is comparable for Patancheru Mandal (8%) and slightly high for Jinnaram (13%) Mandal. Land put to non-agricultural use is high in Ramachandrapuram (17%), Sangareddy (13%) and Patancheru (10%) in comparison to Jinnaram Mandal and the Medak District at 7%. The high percentage of land put to non-agricultural uses is the result of industrialisation and associated urbanisation, and in addition Sangareddy being administrative capital of Medak District it has the highest percentage. Sangareddy and Jinnaram Mandals have no permanent pastures or grazing lands, Patancheru (3%), Jinnaram (5%) and for Medak District (5%). Miscellaneous tree groves are significant only for Patancheru Mandal, Jinnaram and Medak District average stand at 1%. Cultural wastelands are less in all the Mandals in comparison to District at 3%. Other fallow lands are highest for Patancheru (20%), and high in Jinnaram (13%), Sangareddy (12%) and Ramachandrapuram (12%) Mandals, in comparison to the District (8%). Current fallow lands are very high in Ramachandrapuram (57%); Patancheru (38%) and Sangareddy (35%) in comparison to Jinnaram (19%) and Medak District average (18%). The total fallow (current fallow + other fallow) lands are high in Ramachandrapuram (69%), Patancheru (58%), Sangareddy (47%) and Jinnaram (32%) in comparison to Medak District (26%). Net sown area is less then the District (42%), at Sangareddy (38%), Jinnaram (20%), Patancheru (18%) and Ramachandrapuram (12%). The high percentage of fallow lands and less percentage of net sown area in Patancheru, Sangareddy, Jinnaram and Ramachandrapuram Mandals is the net result of the pollution of soil, water and air by the industries.

Table 4.9 Land utilisation particulars for the year 1993-94 (in Hectares)

Patancheru

R.C.Puram

Jinnaram

Sangareddy

Medak dist.

(Source: Chief planning office, Medak District, in Handbook of Mandal Statistics, Medak District (1995)).

4.6 AGRICULTURE

During 1940’s Patancheru was identified as a model rural development centre, which is aided by grants from the rural welfare trust fund to cover rural development including agriculture, horticulture and hygiene (Barass, 1950). In spite of industrialisation a major percentage of people are engaged in rural activities – about 60% and above in all the Mandals, except in Ramachandrapuram Mandal. However there is a shift in number of people engaged in rural activities to other activities, in all the four Mandals in comparison to the District average (Figure 4.6).

The principle crops under cultivation are given in Table 4.10. Jowar is the principal dry-land crop and Paddy is the principal wet-land crop. Various pulses and oil seeds are grown as rain-fed crops. Area under cotton cultivation is increasing in the recent years only. The mechanisation of agriculture is expanding rapidly, as the labour costs have increased phenomenally because of industries. The ratio of the number of villages and the total number of tractors for each Mandal is nearly one for Patancheru, two each for Ramachandrapuram and Jinnaram Mandals. Sangareddy Mandal shows less mechanisation in comparison to other Mandals.

Particulars of agricultural land holdings are given in Figure 4.7 and Table 4.11. Marginal farmers are greater than 50% in all the Mandals, marginal and small farmers together constitute greater then 75% in all the Mandals. On the whole the categories of farmers are comparable to the District average percentage. Marginal farmers having up to 2.46 acres of land, in case of pollution of their lands, have no other way but to sell off at through-away prices or those lands are left fallow. This section of population is more vulnerable to environmental changes like droughts, floods and even environmental pollution, which leads to out-migrations or will be reduced to agricultural labourers. The disguised unemployment is another major problem, which is the result of small land holdings. The use of agricultural machinery and implements are given in Table 4.12.

Table 4.10 Area under principle crops 1993-94 (Area in Acres)

Crops

Patancheru

R.C.Puram

Jinnaram

Sangareddy

Medak dist.

(Source: Handbook of Mandal Statistics, Medak District (1995)).

Table 4.11 Particulars of Agricultural Census (1990-91).

Holdings

Total area in acres

(Source: Handbook of Mandal Statistics, Medak District (1995)).

Table 4.12 Agricultural machinery and implements

Tractors

Sprayers

Ploughs

Oil engines

Electric motors

(Source: Handbook of Mandal Statistics, Medak District (1995)).
Percentages of cultivated and fallow land of the highly polluted Pocharam and Bachuguda villages for the periods 1984-85 to 1995-96 is presented in Figure 4.8. Pollution of water, soil and air may be the main cause of fallow lands; at least on the whole about 20% of the lands are being left fallow in both the villages.

Traditionally there had been two types of irrigation practices in the region, lift irrigation from wells and streams, and irrigation by gravity from tanks. The lifts worked with bullocks called mhotas are suitable for irrigating up to 8 acres. Mhotas were in practice till 1980’s. The present practice of lift irrigation is by electric motor pumps. The availability of water from a number of tanks spread in the region can also be attributed to the prosperity of agriculture (Table 4.13). Tanks are adequate in numbers but now a number of tanks are of little use except as storage ponds for industrial effluents. As these tanks are connected in series the pollutants entering a tank at higher reaches pollutes all other tanks down stream. Presently many farmers shifted to dry-land farming as the water sources are polluted (Photo 4.3). The pollution of wells and tanks crippled all those farmers irrigating crops under them.

Table 4.13 Minor irrigation sources

No. of Tanks

Total Ayacut (Acres)

(Source: Handbook of Mandal Statistics, Medak District (1995)).

4.7 EMPLOYMENT

Development of industries in other then the main urban centres is the policy of decentralisation, so that socio-economic development takes place in other regions too. Industries generate direct and indirect job opportunities.

In industrial areas due to payment of higher wages, it has impact on the agricultural sector. Mechanisation of agriculture took place especially in Patancheru and Ramachandrapuram Mandals, because of shifting of agricultural labour to industrial sector where they are paid high. The involvement of a considerable percentage of people engaged in other then rural activities, in comparison to the distribution of working population in Medak District, is the direct indication of people absorbed in industries and allied sectors.
Real development of a region takes place only if there is any social and economic development of the local people. As the industrial area is close to the major urban center Hyderabad, industrialisation gave way for shuttling workers from the city. On account of pollution, the area is not preferred for living, especially in Patancheru Mandal. The low literacy rate provides fewer opportunities for the people seeking suitable jobs that lead to immigrations from elsewhere. The tertiary sector is also less developed as the money is being spent in the main city. There are no residential colonies existing in the region because of pollution which indicates majority of the industrial workers are commuting from other places especially form Hyderabad and its outskirts where they have better civic amenities and other services too. As a result the local people are loosing indirect employment opportunities, therefore the multiplier effect is very weak.
The actual backwardness of the District is in the interior and western parts of the District. By selecting this peripheral area close to Hyderabad, the industrial development is contributing more for the economic development of Hyderabad rather then in reducing the backwardness of Medak District.

4.8 POPULATION STRUCTURE OF MOST POLLUTED VILLAGES

The following are the villages, which are located close to the industrial areas and the polluted streams, with polluted groundwater, surface water, soil and air pollution: Ismailkhanpet, Arutla, Chidruppa, Bythole, Edthanoor, Indrakaran, Lakdaram, Chinna Kanjerla, Pedda Kanjerla, Sultanpur, Krishnareddipet, Indresham, Inole, Bachuguda, Chitkul, Isnapur, Kardanoor, Mutangi, Pocharam, Khazipalli and Bollaram. These are the most polluted villages, which are frequently mentioned in the press and other media. The workers engaged in rural and urban activities, the percentage of literates and illiterates, and population below and above 6 years of age of the above villages is presented in Figure 4.9 (a) and 4.9 (b).

As the percentage of rural population (about 80 percent) is higher in a number of villages in spite of their close proximity to the Industrial areas, it implies that the industrialisation did not resulted in much creation of job benefits to them. As the literacy rate is also very low (about 20 percent) in many of the villages, this is another negative factor for not getting job opportunities. Nearly 20 percent of the population in these villages is well below 6 years of age, as this age group is sensitive to pollution, it is hazardous for their growth and development.

4.9 CULTURAL PROPERTIES

The cultural history of Medak District commences from prehistoric time that is Paleolithic age. At Kondapur near Patancheru, shreds of pottery, polished stone artifacts and slag of iron belonging to the Neolithic and megalithic cultures were collected. These and other discoveries in the area reveal that there existed a highly developed cultural people in the prehistoric times. The innumerable burials (Cairns and stone circles) near Muttangi, Asnathpur and Khazipalli near Patancheru and other parts of the District, belonging to Megalithic culture were also discovered. About 30 kilometers to the west of Patancheru at Kondapur archaeological excavations indicate the existence of a buried city of vast dimensions dating back to Mauryan and Satavahanas period. Early History of Medak District dates back to Pre-Asokan times (Table 4.14).

Table: 4.14 Early History of Medak District.

PERIOD

DYNASTY

IMPORTANT RULERS

Patancheru is the modern name, which was also called as Pottalacheruvu or Potlakire in the past. Patancheru as capital of Chalukyans of Kalyani for some time, played an important role in the political and religious history of the area. The early rulers of the dynasty encouraged Jainism until Somesvara built the Kalyana. Brahma Siva a staunch follower of Jaina law who also authored two Kannada works belonged to Potalakire. Potalakire once flourished as an important Jaina center. Parasvanatha (23rd Trithankara) is worshiped in Manikya Prabhumandir found here. Innumerable Jina panels are excavated in addition to other antiquities by the Department of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Andhra Pradesh.

During the Medieval period Patancheru was under the rule of Kakatiyas, Bhamanis, Qutub Shahis and Barid Shahis respectively. Medieval Hindu temples are found scattered in the villages around Patancheru. The Gods and Goddesses of these temples are identified as, Yoga Narasimha, Siva in linga form, Bhairava, Ganesa, Devi, Gandharvas, Virakal, Anjaneya, Naga, Nagini, etc. In the Modern period it was under the rule of Mughals and Asaf Jahis respectively. In 1930 the first Andhra conference was held at Jogipet in this District. The whole of Nizam’s dominion remained out side the main stream of Indian national movement. Medak District merged with the Indian union only on 17th of September 1948 at the time of the police action over Nizam.

The rich cultural heritage of the past was alone possible by the prosperity of agriculture and allied trade. Irrigation had been the chief need in developing agriculture. The prosperity and development of the state depended on revenue collection, which was mainly dependent on the pros and cons of agricultural development.

Pre-historic and historical evidences prove that this place is one of the continuously settled places on par with other areas of the country. The resources which sustained indigenous populations over more than 2000 years is a record by itself. Availability of water and fertile soil were the basic requirements for supporting earliest civilisations and advanced through sustained agricultural activity. Through ages indigenous people protected and managed the precious water to their advantage, for sustainable livelihood.

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