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Old 24th March 2010, 10:56   #346
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We really did not get to hear much about it. Deepak, how was the event? Any update about the event?

I was speaking to a couple of cousins & friends the other day, who were more than interested to join this initiative. This initiative is surely an eye opener for many people, who do not know the real state of our jungles and where they stand.

Lets take a stance and make these forests habitable for fauna.
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Old 24th March 2010, 15:13   #347
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DKG Sir,
Have you been to Mannanur for the event?
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We really did not get to hear much about it. Deepak, how was the event? Any update about the event?

I was speaking to a couple of cousins & friends the other day, who were more than interested to join this initiative. This initiative is surely an eye opener for many people, who do not know the real state of our jungles and where they stand.

Lets take a stance and make these forests habitable for fauna.
In view of the attempted poaching incident of the son of the chairman of the ap committee of the WWF, whom I happened to have spoken a couple of times myself, I was quite put off by the whole thing and when I found the WWF staff trying to marginalise the incident I decided not to attend.

But the event took place and they had close to 400 people participate in the event and cleared litter along the road from Mannanur to Domalpenta. I'm glad they had a successful event.

I had other plans and I reached Achampet that same evening and spent the entire day next day surveying watering holes and also visited the Rusula cheruvu deep inside the forest near Achampet.

I was a guest of the DFO so we spent a lot of time discussing options. He will be initiating work on creating a check dam on a runoff stream near Uma Maheshwaram where there already is a waterhole.

My trip into Gundem was fantastic. This is the place I intended to take you guys the first time. We saw Cheetal, Sambar and an amazing sighting of Nilgai. The waterhole near Gundem is very nice. Its quite a large one and fresh Tiger pugmarks were spotted there by forest officials the previous day.

The more time I spend in forests the more I am convinced that what needs help is Man and not animal.

The villages on the fringes of the forest around Rusula Cheruvu still don't have water for irrigation. They depend on water from the lake inside. While I was there inside the forest we noticed the farmers had breached the dam to access more water (of a already receding waterline) for their farms.

I do believe that we need to launch a comprehensive program to harvest rainwater in tanks for these farmers so they can farm with an independent source. It is being proposed we launch a project to work on the belt from Achampet to Kollapur near the Krishna to ensure these villages have access to water. We intend studying the water run off from the forest in this entire stretch and harvest the excess water in tanks. It may mean excavating tanks along these streams. Obviously it has to be done in a scientific manner so this will be in consultation with scientists specialising in the subject

The second issue is that every village must have a sustainable source of fodder for their animals. During the Nizam's rule there was a comprehensive program for every village where issues relating to irrigation and fodder were addressed. We need to do the same. I have discussed with the DFO and some other people on the need to create cattle holds. This really is the long term solution. The government makes it easy to buy cattle through loans but seem to have simply overlooked the cattle's need for fodder. There is no organised program to provide fodder. Hence the need to depend on fodder in forests.

In summary nature doesn't need our help, those animals don't need our help to survive. All we need to do is help the people who keep interfering with the forests and wildlife, as they don't have viable alternatives.

We need to help all those villages on the fringe that have no reliable source of water or livelihood forcing them to plunder the forests.

Unless a more compassionate approach is adopted I fear all conservation efforts are doomed in the long run. No one seems to care about the human beings living in those tiny villages dotting the forest border.

The government of India has some very nice schemes such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme which guarantees a minimum of 100 days of employment. The kind of works allowed include building check dams. Which is good, so we can utilise these programs to do this both within and outside the forests.

A lot of work needs to be done. Its challenging but well worth the effort. If we are successful in addressing the needs of the villages for water and fodder I am certain you positively impact conservation of forests and wildlife bounces back naturally.

Late in the evening as we stood on the Farahabad viewpoint as it grew dark I could see the beautiful Rusula Cheruvu below nestled in a carpet of forest. I could hear all kinds of wildlife calls. I realised how important it was to leave that home alone to these animals.

For that we need to help Man survive more efficiently outside without dependence on forest produce or water sources within the forests.

If a dozen people come forth to resolve to achieve this I know it will come to be

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Old 24th March 2010, 15:27   #348
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A very good write up Deepak. Quite intuitive and worth the read. Is there someway, your proposals can reach the higher ups?

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The more time I spend in forests the more I am convinced that what needs help is Man and not animal.
My +1 on this. It is the Man who needs to be helped.
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Old 24th March 2010, 15:29   #349
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In view of the attempted poaching incident of the son of the chairman of the ap committee of the WWF,
This is exactly the reason i kept quiet when you asked people to signup for the WWF event. But i had no idea that you were going to achampet. that day i was in kalwakurthy doing nothig

Good to know that tiger pug marks were spotted. I think the checkdams are the way to go. I have seen a couple of them on the way to our farm in kalwakurthy - they have water throughout the year, and they were constructed using government funds.
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Old 24th March 2010, 15:33   #350
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Is there someway, your proposals can reach the higher ups?
Isn't that what we are there for? to take it to whatever level or whoever can help in making it happen.

Once a comprehensive study is done scientifically we can lobby for government action and also work toward independently executing some of the projects. I'm sure some international organisations will step forward too. The welfare of people will go down well with a lot of people Byproduct is the welfare of forests and animals
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Old 24th March 2010, 15:38   #351
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and they were constructed using government funds.
Raj could you find out if this was done as a part of the NREGS or other program? Find out as much as you can about the kinds of programs for villages relating to irrigation and cattle rearing
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Old 24th March 2010, 15:43   #352
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Raj could you find out if this was done as a part of the NREGS or other program? Find out as much as you can about the kinds of programs for villages relating to irrigation and cattle rearing
I will find out the details, but here the little i know about this scheme. There is a watershed committee for each village. generally the head and members of this committee are people associated with the ruling party. Govt allocates preset number of watershed dams depending on the village size. Then they use workers from the same village (mostly) to construct these checkdams. At the end a higher official from district headquarters visits the site for inspection and approval. My father's brother was the head of the committee for his village. i will ask him for more info.

i am not sure about the scheme name .. but it was at least 7-8yrs back.. may be it was NATIONAL WATERSHED DEVELOPMENT PROJECT FOR RAINFED AREAS (NWDPRA)

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Old 24th March 2010, 17:08   #353
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Raj could you find out if this was done as a part of the NREGS or other program?
Just spoke to one of my uncles and he promised to get help on these schemes. He had retired as a faculty from WALAMTARI, hyderabad (Water And Land Management Training And Research Institute). I will update you after i meet him in person and get more details.
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Old 24th March 2010, 21:31   #354
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He had retired as a faculty from WALAMTARI, hyderabad (Water And Land Management Training And Research Institute). I will update you after i meet him in person and get more details.
He should be a treasure trove of info on the subject. Looking forward to hearing from you on this.

This evening while chatting with my mum on the issue of water, water holes/saucers etc and the fact that the biggest challenge is to prevent losses to evaporation and percolation she casually remarked about sintex tanks and a idea struck me.

What if we were to use a 5000 litre tank, fit a ball cork to its base and make a small trough long and wide enough to allow large animals to drink comfortably and yet small enough to inhibit evaporation.

The fact that a large quantity of water can be stored makes it more efficient to maintain, logistically, as the saucers are too small and dry up in a couple of days.

I spoke to the DFO and he likes the idea. Is willing to experiment as it seems to be an efficient solution for water during the hot months.

I did some homework and the tanks cost anywhere from 13000 to 18000, For a max of Rs 25000 we can commision one such tank (civil work, plumbing etc) assuming you use the best in quality.

People can donate such tanks and the DFO agreed that we could host their names on billboards along the Srisailam road giving people credit for helping the reserve out.

Interestingly the tank with the trough should look a bit like the Shivling for which Srisailam is famous !!
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Old 26th March 2010, 10:44   #355
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Raj could you find out if this was done as a part of the NREGS or other program? Find out as much as you can about the kinds of programs for villages relating to irrigation and cattle rearing
They have done it under a state sponsored scheme. i don't know the exact name but it was like - you do work and you get rice in return instead of money.

if you see this link APFD Website, govt has been spending 25-50 cr every year on SMC (soil moisture conservation programme) and they claim to have built thousands of checkdams, trenches etc. whats the reality?

GOVERNMENT OF ANDHRA PRADESH . In this link they have talked about the longterm implication of checkdams, earthen bunds. This is little old but looks like they have been doing a lot of stuff at least on the paper. i can't comment on the current situation because i haven't been to these forests myself
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Old 28th March 2010, 02:26   #356
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Watching "The Last Lions of India" on Discovery Channel. Hope he repeats again soon.

It has good information about how man-made water holes are maintained in Gir Forest, Gujarat. How wildlife has adapted it as one of th sources of water. Water is filled by a water tanker.

Shall post the repeat telecast details, if I find it. A must watch.
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Old 8th April 2010, 17:41   #357
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Default A failed case of wild-oriented training of a Captive Bred Tiger

A failed case of wild-oriented training of a Captive Bred Tiger

Please Help in Saving AP's Forests and Wildlife-white-tiger-vs-calf-1.jpg

Please Help in Saving AP's Forests and Wildlife-white-tiger-vs-calf-2.jpg

Please Help in Saving AP's Forests and Wildlife-white-tiger-vs-calf-3.jpg

Please Help in Saving AP's Forests and Wildlife-white-tiger-vs-calf-4.jpg
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Old 29th April 2010, 16:23   #358
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Interestingly the tank with the trough should look a bit like the Shivling for which Srisailam is famous !!
Hope your prototyping is going on smoothly. while you are working on this i was trying to understand whats the best long term solution for the water problem faced by animals as well as people on the bordering villages.

last week i have met retd chief engineer of water dept AP. He was a very knowledgeable man and he discussed at length various options. He has promised to introduce to a retd scientist from NGRI, who had done miracles with water and created water bodies in desert like areas. This will be a slow process but i hope to get some useful out come - also these people are ready to offer their services for free of cost.
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Old 30th April 2010, 14:00   #359
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Hope your prototyping is going on smoothly. while you are working on this i was trying to understand whats the best long term solution for the water problem faced by animals as well as people on the bordering villages.

last week i have met retd chief engineer of water dept AP. He was a very knowledgeable man and he discussed at length various options. He has promised to introduce to a retd scientist from NGRI, who had done miracles with water and created water bodies in desert like areas. This will be a slow process but i hope to get some useful out come - also these people are ready to offer their services for free of cost.
Just need to build up a small fund for the prototype following which one can actively campaign to have many more donated by citizens and organisations that care.

Raj water is and will be a very big issue in years to come. Any effort to harvest rain water and conserve will go a long way. Lets explore all such options and the guidance/help of experts in the field are most welcome
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Old 2nd May 2010, 12:41   #360
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I know it might rain in July but if there is a need for any additional volunteers post July please let me know.
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