Walkers seek national park tag for Kothaguda garden - The New Indian Express

Walkers seek national park tag for Kothaguda garden

Published: 28th August 2013 08:52 AM

Last Updated: 28th August 2013 08:52 AM

To preserve the Sri Kotla Vijaybhaskar Reddy Botanical Garden land at Kothaguda as a lung space for the present and future generations, members of Sri Kotla Vijaybhaskar Reddy Botanical Garden Walkers’ Association demanded the garden to be declared as a national park.

Around 250 members of the Walkers’ Association submitted a representation to Sanjay Kumar, member secretary, Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board on Tuesday, requesting them not to give a clearance for private corporation’s plan to carry on a massive construction in the forest land.

Members of the association alleged that in the name of eco-tourism, private corporations are grabbing land for construction of mega complexes, malls and resort-cum-amusement park. The documents also mentioned that there was a proposal to construct a zoo for exotic animals. “Private companies planned to construct 8 and 4 screen multiplexes, hotels with hundreds of rooms etc.”, said A V Reddy, member secretary of the Walkers’ Association. “They had a plan to construct a multi-storey car parking facility. For this purpose they dug out soil which will cause huge harm to the ecology”, added AV Reddy. The secretary of the Walkers’ Association informed that the private corporations have shifted the wildlife of the botanical garden to other places, like wild boars of the garden have been shifted to the Chilkur area.  People residing in areas surrounding Kothaguda, like Gachibowli, Hitec city, visit the park for walking and jogging. It also serves as lung space for residents of surrounding areas of the garden.

As per the documents of the association, the Centre cancelled the approval granted for diversion of the forest land in March 2011, after the association members, environmental activists and others, represented the issue to the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Presently, the constructions have been stopped. However, the planners of construction approached the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board for clearance.

Concerned officials of AP Pollution Control Board on Tuesday responded positively to the written representation and said that there are some problems with the proposal of the companies.

The walkers’ association mentioned that they are fighting on the principle of ecology and that the 274 acre garden will serve as source of fresh air for coming generations also.

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