Matters concerned with Environment

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dr Aziz Panel to visit Kolleru

Experts panel to visit Kolleru - Deccan Chronicle
September 17th, 2010
DC Correspondent

Sept. 16: The expert panel on Kolleru led by Dr P.A. Aziz will be visiting the Kolleru lake from September 20 onwards for six days to elicit opinion on the living conditions of villagers and also the implications over proposed reduction of contour limits from the existing fifth to third by interacting with stakeholders, politicians and environmentalists.

The seven-member panel from the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Coimbatore, will be arriving at Eluru on September 19 and will meet officials from revenue, irrigation, forests and tourism from both Krishna and West Godavari districts on September 20.

They will take up a field visit to some parts of the Kolleru area, interact with people and accept  representations.

On September 21, the panel will visit Gudivakalanka, Kolletikota, Agadala Lanka and Pothunuru, on September 22, Tokulapalli, Pedanindra Kolanu and Siddapuram villages and Gudipadu, Sriparru and Chinthapalli on September 23.

Later, the team will proceed to Bhujabalapatnam of Kaikalur mandal in Krishna district on September 24. On September 25, the panel will interact with elected representatives like MPs, MLAs, MLCs, ZPTCs and MPTCs at Eluru in the morning and meet officials from various departments in the evening. The panel is visiting the Kolleru lake at a time when there is hectic political lobbying favouring the delimitation of the Kolleru bird sanctuary.

The sanctuary is located over about 308.55 sq km at present and if there is any reduction in the third contour limits, nearly 135 sq km area, which comes upto nearly 42,000 acres, will be excluded from the sanctuary limits. The proposed move for delimitation of sanctuary size is aimed at votes of villagers who belong to the fishermen community.

The National Wildlife Board is learnt to have turned down the proposal on technical grounds. Meanwhile, the Kolleru Lake Development Society chairman, Dr Mente Padmanabham, the general secretary, Dr T. Patanjali Sastry, biologist Prof. B.V.Seshagiri Rao and others found fault with the proposal for delimitation. They fear that if this is accepted, it would result in setting up commercial fish ponds which would lead to an ecological disaster. They appealed to the Centre to maintain the status quo and asked for initiation of steps to conserve and protect the Kolleru lake which is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia.

They also asked government to provide alternate sources of livelihood and welfare schemes to the villagers.

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