VIJAYAWADA: Kolleru Wildlife Sanctuary area will be reduced to 58,000 acres from the existing 78,000 acres with Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu taking a decision in favour of the farmers and exempted around 20,000 acres from its purview.
Naidu directed the officials to exempt 5,600 acres of D-Patta lands and 15,000 acres of zirait lands from the Kolleru Wildlife Sanctuary limits. He wanted the officials to carry out the exercise without deflecting from the orders of Supreme Court.
The decision to exempt third contour to fifth contour lands from the wildlife sanctuary zone is expected to bring great relief to hundreds of local farmers and fishermen.
During a meeting with officials and public representatives at the Interim Government Complex in Velagapudi on Thursday, the Chief Minister directed the officials to focus on protection of forests around
Kolleru, development of drainage system and promoting Kolleru as a prime tourist destination.
Predicting that Kolleru has immense potential to become a tourist destination, he wanted the officials to prepare a master plan in this regard and also to immediately identify and develop all the approach routes to the lake and sanctuary. “We should do everything to preserve the rare animal and bird species and develop resorts around the lake to attract more tourists every year. It is also our duty to preserve the environment and ecosystem around the Kolleru lake and wildlife sanctuary,’’ he said.
The Chief Minister also directed the officials to take all necessary steps to ensure that Kolleru Lake has never dried up or facing water shortage. To ensure this, he ordered the officials to enable a continuous flow of Godavari water through Pattiseema into the lake. The officials were also asked to take all necessary steps to ensure that drainage system is functioning smoothly and there are no problems in the water inflow. He also directed the officials to immediately start works on construction of regulators at Kottada.