WARANGAL: Better late than never! Telangana government officials have finally come to the rescue of the Devunoor forest near Inuparathi Guttalu at Dharmasagar mandal in Warangal district, which has been dying a slow death at the hands of land grabbers, illegal miners and poachers. Officials of the Warangal Urban district administration, and Forest and Tourism departments have designed an ecotourism project for the 800-hectare green lung, which is home to several rare birds and animals. Located near the Dharmasagar lake, the Devunoor forest block is just 20 km from Warangal city and can be accessed by NH-163. This is what makes it an urban jungle and the go-to destination for ecotourism enthusiasts.
Former Collector Amrapali Kata had introduced adventurous activities such as trekking and night camping, with tents and lights, to draw more tourists to the forest block, but these stopped soon after she got transferred. The initiative was well-received by ecotourism lovers. Speaking to Express, Sulakshya Seva Samithi’s founder and president Santhosh Manduva said the picturesque Devunoor forest is an urban jungle and a haven for many rare species of flora and fauna.
But several departments concerned have been turning a blind eye to it as land grabbers encroach upon it and illegal mining damages the landscape. “The Telangana government, rather than spending crores on new tourism projects, should first focus on the existing destinations and protect such natural resources from falling prey to encroachers.
A day might come when the government would end up spending crores to reconstruct such hillocks using Plaster of Paris and create an artificial tourism destination,” he lamented.Manduva further said the officials of the Revenue, Forest and Mining departments have been well aware of the encroachments and illegal mining at the Devunoor forest but did not bother to lift a finger. Meanwhile, Warangal (Urban) Collector Rajeev Gandhi Hanumanthu informed Express that the villagers in the area have been complaining that they have pattas for the land. “We have started to survey Devunoor Inuparathi Guttalu and have completed 70% of it. Once the officials complete the survey, we can get some clarity on the land,” he said.
Officials of the Warangal (Urban) district and Forest and Tourism departments have designed an ecotourism project for the 800-hectare green lung, which is home to several rare birds and animals