Illegal road coming up in Kawal Tiger Reserve
Deccan Chronicle.| dc correspondent
Sources say govt employees are encouraging laying of this 'katcha' road through forest, so that it could cut their commuting time to office
A road is being laid illegally within the core area of Kawal Tiger Reserve (KTR). (Representational Photo: Twitter)
ADILABAD: A road is being laid illegally within the core area of Kawal Tiger Reserve (KTR). What is shocking is that certain state government employees are encouraging and funding villagers living in habitations within the tiger reserve to build the road.
The reason is that such a road will cut down travel time between their residences in one district to offices in another district to which they have been transferred.
Sources said some government staff, earlier working in bordering villages of Lingapur mandal in Komaram Bheem Asifabad district have been transferred to habitations in Jannaram mandal of Mancherial district. Once the villagers within the core area lay the 12-km "katcha" road through KTR, distance to which these employees have to travel for reaching their office on bikes or vehicles will be reduced by 45 km.
For instance, government staff will be able to directly reach Kawal village of Jannaram in Mancherial district from Mamidiguda village in Lingapur mandal of Komaram Bheem Asifabad district. They can thus avoid travelling around Utnoor and Jainoor for nearly 75 km.
The office goers, who live in tandas, have pooled in funds, so that villagers could deploy JCBs, earth-moving machines and power saws for cutting trees and removing boulders in the ghat section.
It is learnt that certain elected representatives of local bodies too are supporting villagers in laying the new illegal road. They know that even they will not be able to get permission officially for laying such a road in the core KTR area.
This is not the first time that these villagers have been utilised for illegal works. In 2018 too, the same villagers cut nearly 2,000 trees for a distance of 2 km to lay a road in the core area of Kawal Tiger Reserve.
Forest officials told Deccan Chronicle that the core area of KTR will be severely affected once the illegal road becomes operational. Even others will start taking this alternative route. The increased vehicular movement will put conservation of tigers and forest under threat.
Venkat Anagandula, coordination officer of Hyderabad Tiger Conservation Society, disclosed that Kawal section officer Nyathari Laxminayana, 48, had died of sunstroke. He was among forest officials who tried to prevent villagers from laying the road illegally.
Incidentally, Jannaram police have reportedly advised the six forest staff not to argue too much with around 200 villagers laying the road, as they could attack them.