Declare Devanur forest area as Reserve Forest: Centre urged

The demand for declaring the Devanur forest block as a Reserve Forest has been made by various organizations like Jana Vignana Vedika (JVV)

Hanamkonda: The demand for declaring the Devanur forest block as a Reserve Forest has been made by various organizations like Jana Vignana Vedika (JVV), Orugallu Wildlife Society (OWLS), Vana Seva Society, and environmental enthusiasts. On the occasion of 50th World Environment Day on Monday, the Forest department in association with these NGOs organised an eco-walk at the Inuparati gattu forest (Devanur forest) in Dharmasagar mandal in the district to raise awareness on environment protection. During the event, plastic debris was also cleared from the area.

Officials including District Forest Officer (DFO), Hanamkonda, J Vasantha, and Officer on Special Duty (OSD), Warangal circle, G Kista Goud, participated in the event and planted saplings. The DFO expressed hope that the Inuparati gattu forest hill areas would soon be declared as Reserved Forest with the support of the District Collector.

Former DFO K Purushottam, speaking at the event, urged the authorities, including District Collector Sikta Patnaik, to take immediate action to prevent illegal encroachments and mining activities in the forest area. He emphasized that the forest serves as the primary green space for Hanamkonda district.

In August 2021, the Vana Seva Society, OWLS, and various green clubs and NGOs met with union Minister of Tourism and Culture G Kishan Reddy to advocate for the development of the Devanur forest block as an eco-tourism spot in Hanamkonda. They requested the Central government to declare the forest block, which spans over 4,000 acres, as a Reserve Forest. It should be noted that this forest area represents only a small fraction of the overall forest cover in Hanamkonda district. A proposal is currently pending with the District Administration, awaiting notification under section 4 of the Telangana Forest Act.

The Inuparathi Gutta forest hills, encompassing Dharmasagar, Velair, Bheemadevarapally, and Elkathurthy mandals, are known for their rich biodiversity and lush greenery. The area is home to rare flora and fauna, as well as perennial water sources. With its picturesque landscapes and hilly slopes, it has the potential to be developed as an eco-tourism destination and a valuable urban green space.

Efforts have already been made by the forest and tourism departments to promote environmental programs in the hills area. In 2018, tented accommodation and night camping were introduced by the then Collector Amrapali Kata, along with various eco-tourism activities that were planned.