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Naidu’s padayatra to give fillip to demand for downsizing Kolleru

G. Nagaraja
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He will enter West Godavari district at Akiveedu on March 9

A range of birds roosting on tree branches in Kolleru near Kondepadu village under Pentapadu mandal of West Godavari district. —Photo: A.V.G. Prasad
A range of birds roosting on tree branches in Kolleru near Kondepadu village under Pentapadu mandal of West Godavari district. —Photo: A.V.G. Prasad

Telugu Desam party president N. Chandrababu Naidu’s ‘Vastunna Meekosam’ programme, scheduled to commence in West Godavari district from March 9, is expected to give a fillip to the demand being voiced by local fishermen for downsizing the wildlife sanctuary area from +5 contour to +3 with the backing of all major political parties.

The fishing groups, lobbying for reducing the size of the lake under the leadership of TDP MLAs Vetukuri Sivarama Raju of Undi and Jayamangala Venkataramana of Kaikaluru are preparing ground to let the issue dominate the walkathon of Mr. Naidu in Kolleru areas. The TDP chief will enter West Godavari district at Akiveedu through a bridge across the Upputeru creek from Alapadu in the neighbouring Krishna district. Both the ruling Congress and the TDP are raising the bogey of Kolleru with the elections to the local bodies round-the-corner. In the run up to the Vastunna Meekosam programme, Mr. Sivarama Raju, supported by his colleague Venkataramana, undertook a padayatra in the Kolleru villages under his constituency for three days on the same demand. In a bid to retain his base in the Kolleru fishermen villages, Congress MP Kavuri Sambasiva Rao too gave an ultimatum to his own party government. Subsequently, the State government has constituted a Cabinet Sub Committee to take stock of the unanimous resolution pending with the National Board for Wildlife after passage by the Assembly in favour of reducing the lake in the run up to the general elections in 2009 and the recommendations of the P.A. Azeez Committee on Kolleru appointed by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. It is interesting to note that it was during the regime of Mr. Chandrababu Naidu as the Chief Minister, the controversial GO Ms. No. 120 was issued while Operation Kolleru took place during the successive Congress regime leading to demolition of fishponds in the plus five contour on the basis of the same GO. The CPI (M) too is currently on a padayatra in Kolleru under the leadership of its district committee secretary Mantena Sitaram with the same demand.

The green activists fighting for protection of the wetland ecosystem in the lake are, however, worried over the clamouring demand that brings together the political groups of divergent views. With the alleged political backing, farmers are allegedly rebuilding fishponds in the sanctuary area, leading to a direct confrontation with the wildlife authorities.


  • Congress and TDP raising the bogey of Kolleru in view of ensuing elections to local bodies

  • Green activists fighting for protection of the wetland ecosystem are a worried lot



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