Central Empowered Committee acts on complaint by an environmental activist about vested interests grabbing land in the sanctuary
The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) constituted by the Supreme Court to save forest and wildlife, has in a letter, asked for details of the Kolleru Wildlife Sanctuary border dispute from the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department.
The member secretary of the CEC, M.K. Jiwarajka, responded to a letter by environmental activist and former BSNL officer Allamsetti Satyanarayana complaining about the vested interests grabbing land in the sanctuary.
He had based the complaint on the reports published in The Hindu giving details about pressure coming on revenue and forest officials to distribute land that was notified to be in the Kolleru Wildlife Sanctuary.
The CEC was constituted by the Supreme Court on May 9, 2002, and it comprises six members now. Owing to tremendous pressure on forests resources and the unsustainable development leading to massive destruction of wildlife habitat, the Supreme Court intervened in the issue.
Responding to the news items in The Hindu , Mr. Satyanarayana wrote to the CEC about the attempts of vested interests in getting the land distributed to families living below the poverty line. Only two out of 260 acres that has been developed as a roosting area for the Gray Pelicans in Atapaka near Kaikaluru would be left with the Forest Department if the land was distributed, Mr. Satyanaryana explained.
The Forest Department has already recognised the area under dispute as special “birding area”. Hundreds of birds of different species visit seasonally for breeding and feeding. Despite hue and cry being raised by environmentalists, the politicians are egging the locals to stake their claims.
Meanwhile, Eluru MP Kavuri Sambasiva Rao, in a recent visit to the area, threatened that he and his supporters would lay siege to Eluru town, if the land was not distributed among the landless poor.
‘Vested interests getting the land distributed to families living below the poverty line’ The area under dispute already recognised by the Forest Department as special birding area
‘Vested interests getting the land distributed to families living below the poverty line’
The area under dispute already recognised by the Forest Department as special birding area