Nation Current Affairs 22 Mar 2018 Kurnool: Pollution t ...

Kurnool: Pollution threatens Rajiv Gandhi park

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | D SIVA RAMI REDDY
Published Mar 22, 2018, 4:03 am IST
Updated Mar 22, 2018, 4:03 am IST
Cement factories within protected 15 km radius pollute the atmosphere.
Rajiv Gandhi National Park near Proddutur in Kadapa district faces threat due to air pollution caused by lime stone mines and cement companies that have come up within a radius of 15 kilometres.
 Rajiv Gandhi National Park near Proddutur in Kadapa district faces threat due to air pollution caused by lime stone mines and cement companies that have come up within a radius of 15 kilometres.

KURNOOL: Rajiv Gandhi National Park near Proddutur in Kadapa district faces threat due to air pollution caused by lime stone mines and cement companies that have come up within a radius of 15 kilometres. The proximity of industries and mining activities is showing its effect on the flora and fauna of the area with a marked drop in the the quality of wild life of the park. Successive governments have been ignoring the park which seems to be wilting away. Sufficient funds for its maintenance have not been coming. The national park, surprisingly, gets only Rs 3 lakh anuual grant. The Divisional Forest Officer M. Guru Prabhakar said at least Rs 25 lakh per annum would help to protect and propagate the wild life within the park.

Spread over 259 hectares, the park was named after the late prime minister by former chief minister Dr Y.S Rajasekhar Reddy in 2005. The coming up of cement factories like Bharati Cements, Zuari Cements and India Cements have been damaging the eco system. Earlier it was known as Rameswaram Reserve Forest. Rajiv Gandhi National Park, was a buffer between Penna river and the Proddutur town. To fight against the widespread encroachments around it, the National Park secured its rich flora and fauna by constructing a fencing wall with solar equipment.

 

Mr Prabahakar said that of the 259 hectares, the core conservation area is spread around 200 hectares and has exotic species of reptiles, animals and a wide variety of vegetation with rare plants of medicinal use. The park needs to be protected for the posterity, he said. But the problem is its proximity to Yerraguntla zone having cement factoris which falls under the 15 km radius norm. Air quality around the park is not congenial for natural growth of flora and fauna. The dust particles of these companies travel in the air and cause irreparable damage to the wild life.

 

Companies like Bharati Cements claim that their lime stone mine does not come under the 15 km radius of any protected areas notified under the Forest Conservation Act 1980, Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 or C.R.Z  Notification of 1991. Rajiv Gandhi National Park, however, is just 12.3 kilometers from the lime stone mine and hence falls under the 15 km radius. The mine lease has been allocated by the Government of Andhra Pradesh vide letter no 1655/M.III(1)/2008 dated 29.10.2008.

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