Agricultural authorities have taken up measures to ensure proper supply of seeds and fertilisers following a recent directive from the Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, in both East and West Godavari districts. In East Godavari, paddy is expected to be raised in about 2.42 lakh hectares for the kharif. With the arrival of an early monsoon and resultant rainfall, farmers have started preparing the ground for taking up cultivation. A section of farmers have already started raising paddy nurseries, and by mid-July, transplantation will be taken up.

Operation Godavari Clean-up programme was taken up by Puducherry minister for tourism Malladi Krishna Rao on Sunday. Mr Krishna Rao brought about 500 volunteers of the Yanam Pourula Sankshema Sangam and took up the cleaning. The programme started at 7 am and continued till 5 pm. Volunteers picked up all floating waste material like polythene bags, plastic and other materials from the various Godavari ghats.

The state government needs Rs 430 crore for the first phase in the acquisition of zerayati land spread over 9,237 acres around Kolleru lake in Krishna and East Godavari districts. The land is situated in fifth contour of Kolleru lake that is being restored after the Supreme Court's directions.

With humans invading and capturing their habitats to erect their high-rises, big cats are entering towns and cities as if to demand their due. Panthers once roamed in the Hitec city area of Madhapur, but they lost their habitat after the scrub jungle was levelled for erecting a cyber city. Similarly, scrub jungles in the fringes of Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry and other urban areas were also destroyed for construction. These scrub jungles were the connecting links (marginal habitats) between the thick forest and human habitations. For long years, the borders were inviolate.

In an effort to conserve and preserve rare and endangered species of flora and fauna in the Papikondalu wildlife sanctuary, forest authorities will establish a bio-diversity lab and develop the sanctuary at a cost of Rs 36 lakh under a centrally-sponsored scheme in East Godavari shortly.

The prevalence of filaria has declined in East Godavari district as health authorities have intensified a drive to contain it. Its prevalence was recorded at 2.8 per cent in 1995 and it came down to 0.27 in 2006. Health authorities collected 19,640 blood smears from January 1 to April 30 in 2008 and found 26 micro-filaria positive cases coming up to 0.13 per cent and 36 filaria diseases which come up to 0.18 per cent. More filaria cases were noticed in Amalapuram and Rama-chandrapuram municipalities and some cases from Biccavole and other areas in the district.

Various welfare schemes introduced by forest authorities for the benefit of tribals in the Rampachodavaram Agency region in East Godavari have helped improve their standard of living. A section of tribal youth have even purchased two-wheelers with their earnings. Forest authorities have trained a number of tribal people, mainly youth, in various trades like stitching adda leaves, making bamboo furniture and incense sticks, preparing vermicompost and in the ecotourism project.

The East Godavari district planning committee meet, conducted for the second time, witnessed heated arguments between minister Gollapalli Surya Rao and East Godavari Telugu Desam president and local bodies MLC Nimmakayala Chinarajappa on Sunday. The trouble started when the issue of supply of protected water in rural areas was being discussed at the East Godavari zilla parishad meeting hall.

State medical and health director general Dr Ramesh Chandra deplored the poor maintenance of sanitation in villages and municipalities and felt the need to sensitise the general public on cleanliness of environs to keep diseases at bay. The director general chaired a regional task force meeting of officials from the medical and health and other connected departments in both East and West Godavari and Krishna districts here on Tuesday. Speaking on the sidelines of the meet, the director general felt the need for creation of awareness on health and hygiene among the public.

The incidence of waterborne diseases is on the rise in the state. In all, 917 cases of acute diarrhoea were reported from the city in the last four months, of which 80 were detected in the last one week. In this context, the task force of the health department held a meeting and decided to take steps to prevent contamination of water and food. In Anantapur district, 98 cases of acute diarrhoea were reported in the past one week. Waterborne diseases were also reported from Putlur of the same district.

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