Following opposition from conservationists, the Centre has sought a report from Andhra Pradesh Government on its plans to erect the Y S Rajasekhara Reddy memorial in a protected sanctuary housing endangered big cats.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) stepped in after non-official members of the National Board for Wildlife such as Brijendra Singh, Valmik Thapar and Asad Rahmani wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying that the memorial would cause destruction to pristine wildlife in the region.

They also alleged that the state government’s order directing the construction of “Smruti Vanam” was in violation of the Wild Life and Forest Act as the habitat has flora and fauna of bio-economical value.

Apart from tigers, the sanctuary also has panthers, sloth bears, wild dogs, hyenas, jungle cats, langurs, Bonnet monkeys, marsh crocodiles, and Sambar deer.

“The 1,140 sq km Gundla Brameswaram Sanctuary is contiguous to the Nagarajunasagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve and is part of the largest block of Eastern Ghats forest in the country, which is extremely rich in biodiversity,” the experts pointed out.

The Andhra Pradesh Government plans to construct a memorial at Pavuralagutta in Nallamala forest where the former Chief Minister, was killed in helicopter crash along with four others.