Ganjam District Peacock Protection Committee (GDPPC) demanded that the State government initiated protection of peacocks in Pakidi hill area through projects that can also improve economic condition of villagers living in the region.
The GDPPC has suggested that this region can be declared a sanctuary, or, as an immediate measure, it can be promoted as an eco-tourism destination. “If properly publicised, Pakidi hill area, near Aska in Ganjam district, can easily attract tourists as it is the place where unique coexistence of peacocks and humans can be experienced,” said Samir Pradhan, the president of GDPPC. The organisation feels this would also generate income for the people of the area.
Although no detailed peacock census has been made in the area, according to an estimate more than a 1,000 peacocks live in the area. These birds live in an area of 1,970 hectares of forest that surrounds the Pakidi hill. It may be noted that GDPPC comprises villagers from Pakidi hill area who, according to their traditional faith, are protecting the national bird populace in the area. The villagers of Sobhachandrapur, Kerikerijhole, Ambuabadi, Bharatapalli, Chatradhepa, Karnanoli, Chermaria and Shelliguda, Samaiguda, Pakidi are part of this organisation. They have vowed to protect and save peacocks of the area from the hands of poachers. Even the forest officials commend their efforts. The GDPPC with the help of forest department has, till date, played exemplary role in the protection of the peacock habitat in the area.
The efforts of these villagers’ organisation were honoured through the Biju Patnaik memorial award for wildlife protection in 2006. It may be noted that in October 2011 more than ten peacocks had died due to use of pesticide in a BT cotton field of a person from Andhra Pradesh in the area. He had been arrested by forest officials and there was much uproar in the State regarding these peacock deaths.
In 2009, the forest department had sent a proposal to the State government to promote the area as an eco-tourism centre. But nothing much has materialised regarding this to date. Work of a park had been started in Chermaria. But it has been stalled due to allegations of corruption and other problems. The villagers want this park to be completed soon. They are also demanding a similar tourism centre to be established at Shobhachdrapur. According to suggestions made by the peacock protection organisation members and the forest department, this place should have some watch towers. It needs better road communication. The habitat of the peacocks has to improved more with better water facility for them and more forestation work in the area.
Although declaration of a peacock sanctuary in the area is being demanded there is fear in the minds of several villagers regarding it.
According to an estimate more than a 1,000 peacocks live in Pakidi hill area These birds live in an area of 1,970 hectares of forest that surrounds the hill
According to an estimate more than a 1,000 peacocks live in Pakidi hill area
These birds live in an area of 1,970 hectares of forest that surrounds the hill