Call from villagers who play host to Siberian birds

Visakhapatnam: Every year, Siberian birds make whispering and rustling noises on tamarind trees on the banks of River Suvarnamukhi near Chellamnaiduvalasa village of Sitanagaram Mandal in Manyam district.

The birds arrive in the first week of June, hundreds of them from Siberia, and stay till the end of the Kartik month. They gather food from the surroundings, build nests, lay eggs and hatch them. The birds stay in this area until baby birds can fly freely.

Villagers have an inseparable bond with the migratory birds. They are coming to this place for generations and the villagers consider these birds as their guests. Those who harm the birds are caught and punished by villagers.

The Siberian birds are a feast to the eye for tourists too for nearly six months.

Some of the villagers are keen on developing Chellamnaiduvalasa as a tourist spot. They complain the authorities are not paying attention to their call for this area to be developed as a tourist centre.

With this idea in mind, the Chellamnaiduvalasa Gram Panchayat identified a nearby government land and passed a resolution. For the last three years, district-level officials keep coming and inspecting the land. “We have submitted petitions to the higher authorities. Every year, we approach AP Tourism but they are not showing any interest.”

“I have been seeing Siberian birds in our village since my childhood. These birds come during the monsoon season. We believe that these birds bring rain here. Sometimes the arrival of these birds is delayed. That’s when the monsoon is playing truant.”

“At times these birds cut short their stay and leave in the middle of the rainy season if they find there is less rain,” Ammojamma, a villager of Chellamnaiduvalasa says.

“People from many places come to Suvarnamukhi river in the month of Kartik. If this area is developed as a tourism spot, more people will come to our village and we will get some employment,” felt Shiva, a youth from Chellamnaiduvalasa.

When Deccan Chronicle contacted district officials, DPRO Ramesh said, “There are two factions in Chellamnaiduvalasa village. They are in conflict with each other on every issue. Due to this, development of this village as a tourist destination is not easy.”

“Some land was identified and the panchayat passed a resolution. Some villagers of Chellamnaiduvalasa filed a case in court and engaged in legal battles. Their argument is that if tourists come, the village will be polluted.”

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