A range of eco-initiatives are being planned by the authorities in Andhra Pradesh, India. The announcements were made by Nara Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. He said that a world-class night safari and zoological park would be constructed in Amaravati.
The only two zoological parks in the state so far are at Tirupati and Visakhapatnam.
He was speaking at the launch of Nagara Vanam in Perecherla, on the outskirts of Guntur City. This ‘city forest’ spreads over 510 acres.
Chief Minister Naidu has announced the creation of 12 more city forests, one for every district. The aim is to improve green cover in the state. The region used to enjoy good rainfall thanks to the density of greenery but now rainfall has declined.
Since the beginning of July, 25 core saplings have been planted. “Our target is to raise green cover to 50 per cent from the existing 26 per cent,” said Naidu. “Forest cover is needed for good rain. Hence it is everyone’s responsibility to improve green cover.”
City forests and ecotourism
A series of events have been run to help spread awareness. Karthika Vana Samaradhana saw over two thousand people join together in a celebration that was also a chance for education. Events have been organised during the auspicious month of Karthika Masam to attract maximum attendance.
However Naidu warned that mass programmes could run the risk of becoming caste-oriented. In an attempt to prevent this, future programmes will be celebrated as state festivals.
The efforts are not only aimed at improving agriculture, horticulture and forestry. Eco-tourism is also being targeted. Cycle paths, hiking tracks and medicinal herb gardens are being planned for the city forests.
The government is also planning to develop 12,500 acres of land at Kondaveedu Fort in the Chilakaluripet constituency of Guntur for tourism.
Image credit: Tridibchoudhury, wikicommons.