The tribal groups are being encouraged to take up afforestation in a big way

Focusing on his visits to the interior areas of the State, the Assembly Speaker Nadendla Manohar will undertake a two-day tour of the Chenchu tribal habitations in Nallamala forests in Mahabubnagar and Kurnool districts on February 8 and 9 to inspect their participation in various developmental activities initiated by the Forest Department.

Mr. Manohar, who heads the Committee on Wildlife and Environment, will take along with him representatives of the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) and NGOs working for the protection of tigers and interact with Chenchus in their habitations. For the record, the Speaker had on an earlier occasion toured the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary in Adilabad district, after which he made a strong pitch for its recognition as a tiger reserve. Subsequently, the Union Government declared the Kawal sanctuary as a tiger reserve. He was also instrumental in organising a two-day orientation programme for legislators in Araku Valley last year, which led to the Legislature coming out with the Araku Declaration for the uplift of tribals in the State.

The primitive tribal groups are being encouraged by Forest Department officials to take up afforestation in a big way. Speaking to The Hindu on Sunday, Mr. Manohar said he would tour the Nagarjunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve and monitor the steps being taken to protect wildlife.

“These tribals have done wonderful afforestation work. I intend to study on how best their services can be used for promoting eco-tourism,” he said. He pointed out that many Chenchus were drafted by the Forest Department as Tiger Trackers. “The Committee will review their performance and ensure that more are hired by the Department,” he said.

The panel will try to focus its attention on understanding the status of health and educational facilities in the tribal habitations.

“We want to make sure that institutional delivery systems are in place and working effectively,” he remarked.

More In: Hyderabad