Telineelapuram located in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh is a heaven for bird lovers and photographers. Every year thousands of migratory birds like Pelicans, Painted Storks descend upon Telineelapuram. The locals consider the day auspicious when Painted Storks arrive. These birds build their nests in the trees in the area and live in complete harmony with the villagers.
The Telineelapuram and the neighbouring Naupada swamps have been recognised as the habitat for providing nesting and breeding grounds for about 122 species of migratory birds including the pelicans and the painted storks. This important wetland faced its brush with death when M/s East Coast Energy Pvt. Ltd. decided to set up a 2640 MW Bhavanapadu Thermal Power Project near Kakrapalli village, near Telineelapuram in Sri Kakulam District, Andhra Pradesh at an area of 3500 acres.
The TORs for the project were prescribed on 6th August, 2007. The public consultation was held on 23.4.2008. The Expert Appraisal committee on Environment Impact Assessment met on June 11-12, 2008 and sought detailed clarifications on various issues including the distance from the railway line, whether the area is a marsh land, topography, impact on drainage of the area, surface hydrology, location of any National Park, Sanctuary, Elephant / Tiger Reserve (existing as well as proposed), migratory routes, if any, within 10 km of the project site etc etc.
The proponents of the Project swung into action after that and had tried their best to change the nature of land by mud filling. Construction was going on at a furious pace when I visited the place and was threatened with dire consequences. I was amazed at the audacity and the rapid pace of work.
Telineelapuram found a friend in Mr. Mrutyunjaya Rao who filed a PIL, created media stories in support of saving this wetland of importance and whose untiring efforts in collecting data and images of the various species strengthened the representations to the ministry. Former Secretary Dr. E A S Sarma had also lent his voice in supporting the cause.
The EAC again met and gave the verdict to change the location of the project. I am happy that my images did their job on their own way. The relevant portions of the minutes of the EAC meeting is reproduced below:
"The Committee observed that Painted Storks and Spot Billed Pelicans are the two species, which use this area for breeding and nesting. It is the only remaining remnant of the marsh area on the east coast. The proposed site is an ecological entity with incomparable value requiring conservation and protection.
Based on the submissions made by the proponent and the discussions held, the Committee recommended that the proponent should shift their site upland sufficiently away from the marshy area and submit the details for further consideration of the proposal. "
Let us celebrate and congratulate Shri K. Mrutyumjaya Rao.
Lets not forget that the job is still not over. We need your support in ensuring that this project is shifted to a place which is far from a ecologicaly important area like Telineelapuram. Please write to The Secretary, MoEF, Government of India, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Paryavaran Bhavan, CGO Complex, Lodi Road, ND-110003 and email at email@example.com
asking the project site to be shifted to an alternative site far from the bird sanctuary.
Some photos from Telineelapuram: