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Unkept promises disappoint Jammalmadugu voters

KADAPA: Jammalmadugu, a name familiar across the two Telugu States and once synonymous with factionalism, has seen a decline in its influence over the years. Despite its historical significance, many longstanding issues within the Assembly constituency remain unresolved and promises made during elections often forgotten. Key developmental projects such as the establishment of a steel plant, textile park, and Gandikota’s transformation into a tourism hub have remained elusive.

Encompassing the mandals of Yerraguntla, Jammalmadugu, Peddamudium, Mailavaram, Muddanuru, and Kondapur, the area is home to a diverse demographic, including a significant population of SCs, Reddys, Weavers, BCs, and minority communities.

Notable tourist attractions include the Jain temples in Gandikota and Danavulapadu, Kanyatheertham, Agasteshwara Kona, the Gandikota project, and the Mailavaram reservoir.

Since 1955, the Jammalmadugu constituency has witnessed 15 elections, with members of the Reddy community prevailing in all, but two instances. The area’s political landscape has been historically dominated by figures such as Ponnapureddy Shiva Reddy and Tatireddy Narasimha Reddy, with factionalism gradually waning over time. In recent years, the competition has intensified with Dr Sudheer Reddy and C Adinarayana Reddy vying for electoral success.

While the YSRC has re-nominated sitting MLA Sudheer Reddy, the BJP, which is contesting the elections in an alliance with the TDP and JSP, has roped in Adinarayana Reddy, who has won from the segment thrice – in 2004 and 2009 on a Congress ticket and in 2014 on a YSRC ticket.

Despite successive governments’ pledges, critical infrastructure projects such as the proposed steel plant and textile park have failed to materialise, leaving residents disillusioned. Prominent leaders, including late YS Rajasekhara Reddy and current Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, have laid foundation stones for these initiatives, yet progress remains stagnant.

The weavers community, concentrated in the Mailavaram mandal, continues to await the realisation of assurances made regarding a textile park, while unresolved land acquisition issues further exacerbate local grievances. Despite its rich mineral resources, the constituency’s economic potential remains largely untapped, driving many residents to seek employment opportunities elsewhere.

The Gandikota project has faced numerous setbacks, despite promises made by successive governments. While the previous administration provided compensation to submerged villagers, additional pledges by the current leadership remain unfulfilled. In Peddamudium mandal, recurring floods exacerbate the plight of affected communities, highlighting the urgent need for flood management measures and adequate compensation.

Despite the region’s abundant mineral resources, the lack of industries has led to significant unemployment, forcing many to seek opportunities outside the State. Further, the envisioned transformation of Gandikota into a bustling tourism hub has fallen short of expectations. Despite attracting tourists and film productions, the area lacks essential amenities and infrastructure to support sustained tourism growth.

Efforts to kickstart development projects, such as the luxury resort and ropeway in Gandikota, have stalled, casting doubt on the government’s commitment to revitalising the area. Similarly, promised initiatives like the grand canal and RTC bus service remain unrealised, further undermining the prospects of Gandikota’s development as a premier tourist destination.

The failure to deliver on these promises underscores the need for greater accountability and concerted efforts to address the longstanding challenges facing Gandikota and other tourist destinations in the district. Without meaningful action, the potential economic and cultural benefits of tourism in the region will continue to remain unrealised.

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