HYDERABAD: The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has cleared the proposal of the Telangana government for diversion of 22.72 hectares of forest land inside the Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary for the construction of roads aimed at easing the travel of tribals to Medaram for the biannual Sammakka Saralamma Jatara.
The Standing Committee of NBWL, chaired by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, cleared the proposal in its 61st meeting held last month, the minutes of which were recently uploaded in the public domain. The project will cost around `48 crore.
The Warangal Circle of Roads and Buildings Department had proposed in 2016 to construct roads connecting various tribal villages. The new BT roads would be developed by upgradation of the present cart-track road between the internal tribal villages of Urattum and Iylapur via Kondai in Jayshankar Bhupalpally district. A note submitted by the R&B Department says the project would also help tribals to access medical, education, agriculture and other facilities in the mandal headquarters.
The NBWL granted the wildlife clearance for the proposal but levied various conditions that need to be fulfilled by the R&B and Forest Departments. The proposed road would be passing close to some areas where tiger movement was recently recorded. So, the R&B Department must install chain link fencing on either side of the proposed road passing through animal crossing zones, construct underpasses for movement of wild animals and set up speed breakers at all animal crossing zones. Also, it has been directed to fell as few trees as possible.
The Forest Department has been tasked with the development of various facilities for wild animals at a cost of Rs 1.3 crore to be provided by the R&B Department, including installation of solar borewells, construction of percolation tanks, purchase of camera traps, etc.
NBWL clears project
The Standing Committee of NBWL, chaired by Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, cleared the `48 crore proposal in a meeting last month, the minutes of which were recently uploaded on public domain