Telugu Desam Polit Bureau member K. Yerrannaidu on Monday charged the Congress government with keeping the issue of reducing the size of the Kolleru wildlife sanctuary on a backburner.
He launched a ‘mahapadayatra’ pressing his party’s demand for reduction of the sanctuary area from the present plus five contour to the plus three at Akiveedu under the Undi Assembly segment, involving his party MLAs representing the Assembly segments falling under the Kolleru Lake. Undi MLA V. Sivarama Raju led the padayatra on the first day in his constituency covering more than half a dozen villages with a distance of 25 km.
Kaikaluru MLA Jayamangala Venkataramana and Denduluru MLA Chintamaneni Prabhakar also plan to join the campaign in their respective Assembly segments in the next two days.
The programme will be wound up with a rally at the Collectorate in Eluru on July 18 after covering a distance of 77 km.
Yerrannaidu alleged that the Congress miserably failed to take up the issue of lake reduction to its logical end even after the State Assembly passed an unanimous resolution asking the Center to accomplish the task a few years ago. Thousands of fishermen lost their habitat with the dismantling of the fishponds during the Operation Kolleru programme, he said.
Former Union Minister regretted that the Kolleru villages were wearing a deserted look as the inhabitants migrated to far-off places in search of employment. The party leader held the government responsible for the sorry state of situation in the Kolleru Lake and its failure to help the victims with a proper rehabilitation package.
He wanted Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, who is currently on Indiramma Baata, to go on Kolleru baata to see for himself the plight of the fishermen.
Mr. Sivarama Raju received a flood of complaints from the locals on the non-availability of safe drinking water in their habitations on account of high pollution levels in the lake caused by industries and the urban areas around. He appealed to the government to install RO water plants and pay a special attention to the public health in Kolleru villages.
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