Poll promise to downsize lake takes a heavy toll on bird sanctuary
The election-eve promise of the ruling TDP-BJP combine to downsize the Kolleru lake seems to be taking heavy toll on the bird sanctuary. PM, Narendra Modi andChief Minietr N. Chandrababu Naidu made a joint statement to reduce the wildlife sanctuary area. The move is intended to release an extent of 30,000 acres of land from the sanctuary area for fish farming by the native fishing communities. A considerable number of MLAs and MPs, including a prominent Minister, are reported to have stakes, either overtly or covertly, in the annula 2,000 crore pisciculture business in the Kolleru lake.
It all created an adverse environkemt for the agencies entrusted with the protection of the Kolleru lake which figures in the Ramsar list of wetlands of international importance, as a wildlife sanctuary in line with the High Court’s directions. According to information, fish-ponds re-emerged on more than 80 percent of 14,000 odd acres of zeraiti (private lands) in the prohibited sanctuary area after demolitions during the operation Kolleru programme in 2006. The failure of the government to follow the due process of acquiring these lands by extending compensation to the land owners is said to be the reason for restoration of pisciculture in these patches. Zeraiti lands apart, the government lands in the +five contour are also allegedly subjected to encroachments for fish farming on a large scale in the recent past.
 G. Nagaraja, Poll promise to downsize lake takes a heavy toll on bird sanctuary, TheHindu, 8 (December 10, 2014).