The Andhra Pradesh government’s plan to build a Rs 350-crore memorial for former chief minister Y.S. Rajashekara Reddy in the middle of the Nallamalla forest has hit a hurdle.
An environment ministry committee has asked the government not to give clearance to the memorial as it would destroy the fragile ecology of Gundla Brameswaram wildlife sanctuary — home to tigers.
“We are of the view that the memorial should not be constructed,” said a committee member, requesting anonymity. The reasons are its proximity to a tiger habitat and the fact that it is inside a dense forest.
The committee recommendation is a setback to YSR’s son Jagammohan Reddy who has been trying to get political mileage from his father’s popularity. Jaganmohan did not respond to HT’s queries.
The committee headed by Dr Urmila Pingle, member of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NCTA), had visited the forest in July to examine the proposal. “Every day thousands of people will come...thousands of trees will be sacrificed...such devastation can’t be allowed,” the member said.
Earlier, environmentalists led by director of Bombay Natural History Society Asad R Rehmani had opposed the project. “The issue was discussed at National Standing Committee on Wildlife and we would be happy if the project is scrapped,” Rahmani said.