HYDERABAD: The Kawal Tiger Reserve in Telangana — already facing threats from land grabbers, poachers and cattle grazers — is now facing the threat of concretisation, with a new sports complex being constructed by a determined administration of the Nirmal district.
Telangana, in the process, will become the first state to build a sports complex within the core area of a tiger reserve. It is to be noted that Nirmal is the home district of Telangana’s forests and environment minister, Allolla Indrakaran Reddy.
The district administration has already started the construction of the Telangana Kreeda Pranganam (sports complex) in the forest in the Buttapur village limits of Nirmal’s Dasturabad mandal. Buttapur is about 10 kilometres, aerially, from Jannaram, the headquarters of the tiger reserve.
Fencing works of a five-acre plot are underway, following the erection of an arch. A volleyball court has also been constructed, with courts for basketball, kabaddi and kho-kho set to come up soon. Officials said that the area is large enough to house a cricket field as well.
The sports complex is expected to cater to around 100 families, of whom no more than 50 have aspiring youth, according to forest department officials.
Kreeda Pranganams are a new idea mooted by the state government this June, as part of the two-week Palle Pragati and Pattana Pragati programmes.
The sports complex has been opposed by forest department officials, who issued a show-cause notice on June 30 to the Dasturabad mandal parishad development officer on why action should not be taken for violating various provisions of forest and wildlife protection acts, and why construction materials should not be seized.
The MPDO was given 15 days to respond to the notice.
It was learnt that piqued at the pushback from the forest department officials, the district administration instructed the local panchayat raj officials to take the forest department staff to task.
Following this, the GP Peddur gram panchayat secretary issued a notice to the forest range officer (FRO) of Kadem, and on Tuesday, sealed FRO Anitha’s office over an unpaid tax of Rs 1.33 lakh owed to the gram panchayat.
In the notice issued on July 4, the FRO was given 15 days to clear the due.
The FRO has been asking panchayat officials, for some time now, not to set up a sports complex in the forest, and brought to their notice that it was not just forest land but the core area of the tiger reserve, Khanapur forest divisional officer U. Koteswara Rao told Deccan Chronicle. “We have made it clear that no activity can be allowed inside the Kawal Tiger Reserve, and most certainly not in its core area,” he said....