Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Thursday, May 26, 2022

Tiger zone in AP faces threat from ashram expansion plan






The Varikuntla tiger corridor zone in Kadapa, one of the last few homes left for the big cat in Andhra Pradesh, is under threat not from forest dwellers or poachers, but from an old ashram, which has now applied for diversion of around 13 hectares. The tiger zone connects Gundla Brahmeswaram (GBM) wildlife sanctuary to Seshachalam forest, and experts say the expansion of the ashram is a serious threat to the tigers, specially when camera traps set up in the area clicked two tigers in the area recently.





An alarmed National Tiger Conservation Authority has sent a notice to AP forest department, asking why huge structures, including ashram rooms, choultry and a temple, are being allowed, leading to deforestation. “Yes, we have received alert notice from NTCA a few days ago following a complaint filed by wildlife activists. The original Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy ashram is dated to 1895 and it was located in a small area of less than an acre. However, Sri Kasireddy Nayana Ashramahas has come up from 1995. The encroachment continued till 2015 when we stopped it,” Proddatur wildlife divisional forest officer MGuru Prabhakar told TOI.





He said the NTCA sent a notice, stressing on the point that this area was a tiger corridor and a passage for the movement of a tiger from Nagarjuna Sagar Tiger Reserve (NSTR) GBM sanctuary to Sri Venkateswara Wildlife sanctuary in Seshachalam. NTCA has also asked the AP forest department not to approve the proposal for forest diversion.






Source: The Times of India, 01 October 2019, Chennai.