PMF IAS Current Affairs
PMF IAS Current Affairs

Polavaram Irrigation Project, Konda Reddis, Koya Tribes

Polavaram Irrigation Project

  • Context (DTE | TH): Konda Reddis (a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group) and Koya tribes in the Godavari region, displaced due to the Polavaram Project, are now deprived of their livelihood.
  • Polavaram Project is a multi-purpose irrigation project on the Godavari River in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It is being constructed based on the recommendations of the Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal (1969), which issued its final award in 1980.
  • The reservoir also spreads to Telangana, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh.
  • It covers the Papikonda National Park of Andhra Pradesh.
  • It will facilitate inter-basin water transfer from the Godavari to the Krishna through a link canal.
  • It is a centrally funded project for irrigation, hydropower, and drinking water facilities.
  • As per the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, it has been declared a National Project.
  • Since it is a National Project, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs shall ensure that all eligible tribes get the proper compensation for the loss of land and livelihood due to the acquisition of forest lands.

National Project

  • Criteria for declaring the irrigation projects as National Projects:
    • International projects (where water usage in India is required or whose early completion is necessary for India’s interest).
    • Inter-State projects (dragging on due to non-resolution of Inter-State issues).
    • Intra-State projects (with additional irrigation potential of more than two lakh hectares and with no dispute regarding water sharing).
    • Extension, renovation, and modernisation projects (envisaging extension/restoration of irrigation potential of 2 lakh hectares).
  • Benefit: 90% of the funding for the project will be given by the central government.

Polavaram Irrigation Project

Konda Reddis

  • Konda Reddis (or Hill Reddis) is a tribe in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and Odisha.
  • They are a designated Scheduled Tribe in AP and belong to the Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group.
  • Their traditional occupation is collecting forest resources and cultivating millets, maize, pulses, and vegetables through podu cultivation (the name of shifting cultivation in Andhra Pradesh).
  • The Godavari region which they inhabit is famous for mangoes. and before plucking the mangoes, the Konda Reddis perform a ceremonial community dance known as Mango Dance.
  • They worship dead ancestors, the hills, local and Hindu gods.

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG)

  • Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (previously known as Primitive Tribal Group) is a sub-classification of Scheduled Tribes considered more vulnerable among the tribal groups.
  • Dhebar Commission (Tribal Panchsheel Committee) recommended the creation of Primitive Tribal Groups (PTGs). Based on this, GOI created PTGs in 1975. In 2006, PTGs were renamed as PVTGs.
  • At present, there are 75 PVTGs out of 705 Scheduled Tribes.
  • Odisha has the highest number of PVTGs.

Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG)

  • Criteria followed for identification of PVTGs are:
  1. Pre-agricultural level of technology
  2. Low level of literacy
  3. Economic backwardness
  4. A declining or stagnant population.
    • In India, the tribal population makes up 8.6% of the total population. Tribal people live in about 15% of the country’s geographical area.


  • Koya tribe is found in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and Odisha.
  • Traditionally, Koyas were soldiers of the palegars (feudal lords) and practiced podu cultivation.
  • Today, Koyas are mainly settled cultivators and artisans.

Legal Provisions for the Protection of Forest Rights of Scheduled Tribes

STs and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition Of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
  • Popularly known as Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006, the Act recognises the rights of the forest-dwelling tribal communities and other traditional forest dwellers to forest resources, on which these communities were dependent for a variety of needs, including livelihood, habitation, & other socio-cultural needs.
  • The Act provides for recognition of forest rights of other traditional forest dwellers provided they have resided in and have depended on the forests for bonafide livelihood needs for at least three generations prior to 13.12.2005.
Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013 (LARR Act)
  • The Act mandates that Adivasis shall be provided land equivalent to land acquired, or two and a half acres, whichever is lower. Therefore, the Adivasis with no other lands except podu patta (community rights) land are entitled to seek land-to-land compensation.
  • The Act also requires that community forest rights recognised under FRA be quantified in monetary terms. and the amount should be paid to the individual concerned in proportion to his share in such community rights.
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