One would expect the state government, hosting the World Bio-diversity Conference by spending crores of rupees, to implement programmes pertaining to the conservation and management of forest in the state.
But, its actions indicate otherwise.
For the last three months, it has not cleared the file meant to accord permission for the constitution of state-level steering committee and local-level committee for the only biospehere reserve identified in the state–Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve.
The 17th in the country and first in the state, the Seshachalam Reserve was notified in September 2010.
Its total area is 4,755.
997 sq km encompassing parts of Chittoor and Kadapa districts.
The reserve, if the file gets the approval, will have three inter-related zones: core zone, buffer zone and transition zone.
The main objective of the reserve, a part of ‘Man and Biosphere’ (MAB) programme, is to lessen the conflict between man and nature, and also to ensure that mutually-beneficial programmes are implemented.
Seshachalam region is home to rare species of both flora and fauna.
The Sri Venkateswara National Park, situated in the Seshachalam forest, also shelters the world famous hill shrine of Lord Venkateswara.
However, the region is more often reported for its unchecked exploitation of red sanders.
Even after two years, the works pertaining to the demarcation of boundaries for the three inter-related zones and formation of state and local committees to execute management action plan have not commenced.
The forest officials said non-receipt of funds from the Centre delayed the works.
“Although Rs 40 lakh was allocated four months ago, it has not been released so far,” said a higher official.
He said the government is yet to give its nod for the constitution of committees which will provide an action plan to the Centre for funding the reserve.