Execution of drainage works in wildlife sanctuary the trigger

The Wildlife Division of the Forest Department and the Department of Irrigation are reportedly at loggerheads over execution of drainage works in the Kolleru Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS). Channelisation of Nagulakodu, a drain falling under the plus five contours of the Kolleru lake, by the Irrigation authorities turned out to be a showdown between the two government agencies.

The personnel from the Wildlife wing reportedly stalled the works by raising serious objections over the manner in which the Irrigation authorities were executing such works allegedly without their permission. The Revenue authorities seized a couple of poclains engaged for the drainage works at the particular place in the wake of complaints from the Forest Department.

The Forest Department contends that no drainage works shall be carried out in the sanctuary area without permission from the Chief Wildlife Warden of the department.

The re-building of fishponds is reportedly happening in the sanctuary area in the guise of channelisation of drains allegedly with a nexus between a section of the Irrigation Department personnel and the aqua lobbies. The issue has obviously raised the hackles of the Forest Department.

Fishponds were allegedly rebuilt in a little over 130 acres of the zerayiti lands at Venkatapuram and Nidamarru areas in a similar fashion, leading to suspension of two Village Revenue Officers (VROs) and issue of charge memos on the local Mandal Revenue Officer and the Deputy Director of the Fisheries Department.

Collector G. Vanimohan went on record at an official meeting a few days ago that a major chunk of 10,000 acres of the zerayiti lands was subjected to encroachments for constructing fishponds in the sanctuary area after the Operation Kolleru programme.

The Drainage Division of the Irrigation Department has proposed to take up works relating to removal of silt, construction of cross bunds etc in 18 out of 67 minor in-fall drains joining Kolleru from different regions falling under Krishna and West Godavari districts with a claim to create free passage for the floodwaters to join the sea through the Upputeru creek, thereby save the paddy fields from submergence.

The higher-ups in the Forest Department are allegedly disputing such claims while reportedly preparing ground to take up the issue with the Collector. Construction of cross bunds connecting the drains was in contravention of the guidelines of the Wildlife division as they would serve as fishponds, for all practical purposes, assert the Forest authorities.


  • The Revenue authorities seized a couple of poclains engaged for the drainage works

  • Forest Department contends that no drainage works shall be carried out in the sanctuary without permission from Chief Wildlife Warden