NELLORE: Flamingo arrivals may be dwindling in this district famous for the Flaming Festival but from next year tourists may at least get to see many MLAs. Inaugurating this year’s Flamingo Festival at Sullurpet Saturday, tourism minister Vatti Vasant Kumar said from next year, the Flamingo Fest will be a state-funded event rather than a district-level affair.
Speaking at the inaugural of the two-day festival to promote eco-tourism in and around the Pulicat lake, the minister said he would petition the speaker to urge all MLAs in the state to attend the festival.
The festival got going Saturday with an exhibition of 27 stalls. Several of them showcased the migratory birds which visit the Pulicat, the second largest brackish water lake in the country next to the Chilika. Some of the other stalls featured the achievements of departments like the animal husbandry department which featured a presentation on the Ongole breed of bulls.
Ecologists in this district have been expressing concern over the dwindling of bird arrivals at the Pulicat. This year, some 50 different type of birds have been sighted in and around the late. The number may go up much higher as the migration season progresses.
Officials will begin their bird count operations from Sunday but the consensus around the table has been that the numbers are dwindling. Vasant Kumar said at the fest inaugural that the Pulicat lake is a vital element of the local ecological balance and also an important source of income for hundreds of fishing villages that lie around its rim.
Finance minister Anam Ramanarayana Reddy too stressed the environmental importance of the Pulicat and said proposals for its development have been sent to central government.