Joint committee report on Kolleru lake, Eluru district, Andhra Pradesh, 17/11/2022

  • 17/11/2022

Joint committee report in the matter of Daram Govinda Rajan Vs State of Andhra Pradesh dated 17/11/2022.

Daram Govinda Rajan resident of Chataparru, Eluru mandal, Eluru district, Andhra Pradesh filed an application before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) regarding massive illegal encroachments by construction of ponds leading to ecological destruction in Kolleru lake which is one of the prominent lakes in Eluru and Krishna districts of Andhra Pradesh.

It is stated that "illegal encroachments are being made with active connivance of Range Officer regarding which complaints were made to the concerned authorities but no action was taken due to political influence of the Range Officer".

The NGT, April 19, 2022 directed the constitution of a joint committee to look into the matter and submit a report.

Thje Joint Committee report said that after 'Operation Kolleru 2006' the Kolleru Wildlife Sanctuary lands were consolidated by the revenue department of the districts of Eluru and Krishna and handed over to the forest department.

The Kolleru Wildlife Sanctuary is in the administrative control of the Wildlife Management Division, Eluru and the forest department is managing the sanctuary "effectively despite all hurdles".

The seasonal encroachments in the area mostly for aquaculture have been tackled by registering offence cases, demolishing the bunds and village level awareness programmes. All the district level departments related to Kolleru lake management are putting their best possible efforts to protect and conserve the lake area, the joint committee report said.

There are no large-scale death of birds or fishes observed in the place (as alleged in the complaint) and the water quality of the lake is suitable for wildlife propagation. According to the estimate available with the forest department through Asian Water Bird census conducted every year - the Kolleru Lake basin supports more than 4 lakh birds in the recent past. Presently it harbors 50 per cent of the South Asian population and over 30 per cent of the global population of Spot-billed Pelicans "which is a remarkable increase in number of particular important species after declaration of Sanctuary".