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Old 11th June 2009, 15:00   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
Mc,
You are most welcome.
Ranthambore: We have been there and interacted with locals who have spoken very ill about the forest dept. and went to the (on Tape) extent of saying that forest officials will stripe paint a donkey and try to pass it off as a tiger. Where has more than half the population of tigers gone in the past decade in Ranthambore? Why is there a decrease instead of an increase?
They swear poaching is done there and the dept. guys are brokers.
This place is a small and tiger sighting here was certian in every trip, Ranthambore does not have the dense undergrowth as other forest except in very small pockets. Now they do baiting ( keeping raw meat for the tiger at the same time, same place every day) tourist are taken on this planned track, this way there are chances of sighting.
If you want to sight a tiger close to home the best chances are in Nagarhole, and the forest staff there are the best in India, who do everything in their means to ensure you sight a tiger. April- May is the time.
For how long do we tolerate the show of power and blatant apathy of the forest department, until there is is no wildlife left?
Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post
Hi Sir,

Loved the pics, infact I am a fan of your pics already since you started posting them in the non-auto image thread so was expecting similar quality from you and I am glad you have lived up to the standards you have set.

I also appreciate your love for nature and am sure that if atleast 50% of us start loving the beasts we would be able to save the tiger.

BUT...



I dont agree with you here totally. the things have changed in Ranthambore drastically and over the past few years the tiger population has been on an increase. After the Sariska debacle the state govt simply can not let the tigers dissappear from Ranthambore and incur international wrath upon themselves.

Poaching maybe still present but its very less, baiting could be done in one off incidents but not always, tigers are easy to spot in Ranthambore as:-
1. the under growth is very less in the jungle.
2. water holes are limited
3. very dry area
4. few tigers have been radio-coloured so easy to locate them.

Check this video taken by my friend who was a part of the tiger census operation carried out last month and you will know what i mean

Also you are most welcome to visit Ranthambore again now, I would love at accompany you there and hopefully you will change your mind about the tiger reserve

Regards
I used to be a regular to Sawai Madhopur way back in 2004 when I was selling Swaraj Mazda vehicles to the locals for plying inside the sanctuary. The information quoted below by me is what I had gathered then from the locals.

I used to stay at Jhoomar Baori on top of the hill and during monsoons, had seen a big cat in the evening, strolling on the driveway upto the hotel.

Apart from that, my closest encounter with the tiger has been at Panna when I saw a tigress kiling a chinkara while I was on top on the elephant deep inside the jungle away from the trail.
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Old 11th June 2009, 17:02   #32
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Originally Posted by Lalvaz View Post
Amazing pics Mr.Fazal, and its an eye opener to see the way these forest officials are letting the last few forested areas go to the dogs. The sheer number of cattle in the core area of the forests is a matter of serious concern.
Mr. Lalvaz,
The sheer number of cattle grazing in this reserve forest is enough to decimate it to a barren land in say about 10 years, then we have cutting trees and clearing forest for fuel and cultivation. The highway which cuts through this forest from Mannanur to Nandiyal is a 200 kilometers long strech, yo can see cattle all along this route and then calculate the number of cattle a 100 fold which will be grazing in the buffer and core areas. As per the Wildlife act 1972, the Chief Wildlife Warden has the authority to control and regulate the number of cattle grazing in a reserve forest or sanctuary.
I do not see control of any kind in all these years, if it is being controlled then our Chief Wildlife Warden Mr.Malhotra indeedis very generous officer, as the number of cattle and sheep are increasing by the day.

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Originally Posted by pypkmsrikanth View Post
Faizal am sure you are aware of the cattle grazing in the Bandipur WLS, Mudumalai etc. But this takes the cake, especially the ones where grazing cattle are at water holes. Heights of mismanagement. Indravathi, Srisailam/Nagarjuna Sagar should have been the torch bearers of Indian tiger because of the size of the forests without fragmentation for conservation, its a pity that no one knows what's the scene with Indravathi because of supposedly Naxalite influence and Srisailam/Nagarjuna Sagar has gone to dogs because of mis-management.
Am no expert though I have made enough visits to Bandipur, Mudumalai, Wayanad & Nagarhole to have some understanding of the state of the forests, for a seasoned conservationist like you, if you have managed to see only a Deer during all your dawn/dusk drives then the park is in serious trouble.

When was the last time did you see a Big cat Faizal? What worries me is if there is a cattle kill by a tiger, they would ask for a compensation and get the tiger killed after claiming it to be a "Man eater", thats the state of affairs with Wildlife conservation in India. Am sure you would have read about the elephants capture from Maldare forests near Coorg because they were attacking people, conveniently forgetting that we had encroached into their space in the first instance, now they have become rouge elephants.

Sorry for the rant, but your last set of pictures really pains me.
Mr. Srikanth,
You are right 100% about this one taking the cake, the cattle grazing in Mudumalai and Bandipur are miniscule and pale in comparrision to the scale here.
One thing very important to keep in mind is here: Though NSTR is more than 4 times in size than the other mentioned forests. The annual rain fall and soil conditions in Mudumalai and Bandipur makes them look like AMAZON RAIN FOREST in comparrision to Srisailam (NSTR) here the soil quality is very poor and rocky and sparse annual rainfall does not help this decidious forest to regenerate before the next season, and whatever it does manage to is....plundered and grazed upon.
The forest department until 5 years back were under the pretex and had a valid excuse, that the heavy armed naxalite presence in this forest prevented them from carrying on their duties and also that the villagers had their backing and that they would have to face the wrath of naxalites if they stopped cattle or sheep grazing and also clearing the forest for cultivation. their claim was valid and true, but now there is no naxalite presence in Nallamalla as the A.P. Anti Naxalite force (Grey Hounds) did away with some and drove many to AOB (Andhra Orissa border) or Chattisgarh and other neighbouring states.
Whats the excuse now, Since five years??
I was drooling when I saw the thick and highly dense jungle in Bandipur and Nagarhole and the density of wildlife compared to here makes NSTR look like a small zoo in some district.
A s for your question the last tiger I sighted in the wild was in Nagarhole, 3 years back. Sixteen years of frequent visits to this forest and not one did I see in a forest which has a spread over 3,358 square kilometers, this does not mean there are no tigers here but not as many claimed by the A.P. forest dept. (81 tigers as per the 08-09 census).


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Originally Posted by muralisk View Post
I completely understand the level of destruction people are causing to the beautiful nature. My first visit to Srisailam was back in 1989. I have physical photos of that and what we see now is quite different.

It is sad, but also true that in the name of tribal welfare, the corrupt government and forest officials are allowing every one to chop trees and cultivate. Its the same thing that is destroying Araku Valley as well.
Mr.Muralisk,
Yes in the name of tribal welfare and also this month the A.P. government gave patta (title) certificates to thousands and handed over 20,000 thousand +, acres of forest land, what made them eligible? the tribals had to prove that they lived in the forest from 2005.
Which in other words means 20 thousand plus acres of deforestation by official permission.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post
Hi Sir,

Loved the pics, infact I am a fan of your pics already since you started posting ...
BUT...
I dont agree with you here totally. the things have changed in Ranthambore drastically and over the past few years the tiger population has been on an increase. After the Sariska debacle the state govt simply can not let the tigers dissappear from Ranthambore and incur international wrath upon themselves.

Poaching maybe still present but its very less, baiting could be done in one off incidents but not always, tigers are easy to spot in Ranthambore as:-
1. the under growth is very less in the jungle.
2. water holes are limited
3. very dry area
4. few tigers have been radio-coloured so easy to locate them.
Also you are most welcome to visit Ranthambore again now, I would love at accompany you there and hopefully you will change your mind about the tiger reserve

Regards
Mr. Deky,
Firstly let me start by thanking you for your appreciation of my pics and your kind comments. I will strive to keep up my quality.
You not agreeing with me on Ranthambore: I am extremely happy to know that things have changed there, I hope and pray many more disagree with me on this count in the coming days and years, which means we are suceeding even if it is a little bit and heading in the direction we should never have lost since 1972 when the wildlife act was introduced.
"After the Sariska debacle". I am reffering to before and during the Sariska debacle. which was the most lean period for for the Ranthambore Tiger, check with your sources and correct me again if I am wrong.
Yes! the reasons cited by you are true, thats why the Tiger there is most visible and vulnerable compared to other sanctuaries, but it does not mean that they have managed to cling on and defy human descruction by timely intervention by higher authorities.
My dear friend, you may have an idea how much funds are recived by the respective forest departments through WWF and Tiger Conservation Socities and World Bank. Sariska, the mismanagement there surfaced, there is a same story to tell in every sanctuary or reserve but many heads will roll and also will stop the millions of dollars.
Never forget me, I am your future guest when I plan to visit Ranthambore. Seriously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
I used to be a regular to Sawai Madhopur way back in 2004 when I was selling Swaraj Mazda vehicles to the locals for plying inside the sanctuary. The information quoted below by me is what I had gathered then from the locals.

I used to stay at Jhoomar Baori on top of the hill and during monsoons, had seen a big cat in the evening, strolling on the driveway upto the hotel.

Apart from that, my closest encounter with the tiger has been at Panna when I saw a tigress kiling a chinkara while I was on top on the elephant deep inside the jungle away from the trail.
MC,
All I can say is, YOU LUCKY GUY.
No wonder I see that cool attitude transending in you. I have not yet been that blessed to see the predator and its prey's last living moments together.
Guys, Keep it coming, I will do all I can to update you wll with pics. and my unrelenting and unorthodox methods will never stop much to the frustration of the concerned officials here.
Lastly I would like to thank you all for your support and interest in Tiger and wildlife conservation, for "It is a first step that has led to the greatest journeys".
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Old 11th June 2009, 17:26   #33
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Just want to add something that I had gathered from my relatives in Vizianagaram about the degradation of Araku Valley and the surrounding areas. The biggest problem with this part of AP is mainly due to the naxals, who actually are the proxies for the politicians. They have literally destroyed the natural flora and fonna, which was quite sufficient for the locals to surrive. Now, as I said, in the name of welfare, they are practically, destroying the hills and the valley.
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Old 12th June 2009, 13:50   #34
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Just one flock of sheep out of the many on the highway intersecting the forest and many times more in the interior forest. The forest officials feign ignorance, sheep and cattle volume in this magnitude cannot be ignored.
(this Pic. taken on our earlier visit).
Weekend getaway in a forest-sheep.jpg
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Old 12th June 2009, 14:04   #35
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@Fazal saab,
fantastic pics.
I am also concerned about state of affairs with forest department.
Near Baramati[ my town], there is Mayureshwar wildlife sanctuary.
I visit there regularly. But day by day, human interference is growing alarmingly.
I had written couple of letters about this situation to ministers from Baramati and ministry of forest in Maharashtra but........
In fact, just one year back, one minister caught while poaching in this area. He had resigned from ministry due to public outburst and also facing case against him.

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Old 12th June 2009, 14:11   #36
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Many state forests in Maharashtra have a system where permits are given to grazers and people requiring firewood on a commercial basis: typically around 5 ruppes for a headload. It is perfectly legal though it is supposed to be restricted to a manageable level.

In some forests, large cattle holdings are allowed into forests for grazing in lots. I think it is called the "Patti" system or something like that. Very common in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Grazing and Browsing on a large scale does ruin forests: see the damage to some forests in the buffer zone in Bhadra: perfect example of forest officers not doing their job.
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Old 12th June 2009, 14:23   #37
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Nice Pics Fazal bhai..ur an ace with your bazooka camera !!!!!!
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Old 12th June 2009, 16:35   #38
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very nice pics, appreciate your good work
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Old 12th June 2009, 16:59   #39
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[quote=fazalaliadil;1343910]Just one flock of sheep out of the many on the highway intersecting the forest and many times more in the interior forest. The forest officials feign ignorance, sheep and cattle volume in this magnitude cannot be ignored.

Definitely, not when the herds are leaving such a huge dump on the road.

Last edited by muralisk : 12th June 2009 at 17:00.
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Old 12th June 2009, 20:33   #40
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Dear Friends,

Ashish and Cougar have raised concerns from Maharashtra, Human interference is and has been ruining the forests, envisage the future human inteference, it is unfathomable!
Politicians are the culprits, when they play vote bank politics this is the result and even if the ruling party takes a stand on this the opposition will politicise it.
Second in line are the forest officials, who lord over issues that make even small news but scamper like a scared dog, tail inbetween their legs when they have to take a stand.
A relocated male and two female tigers from Ranthambore to Sariska managed to mate and the lucky tiger pregnated the two females, next day NATIONAL HEADLINES screaming success, as if it was the forest staff was responsible for the two tigeress getting pregnant.
Talk about the daily failures? The leading news papers in our country have their proirities elsewhere, My findings are going to be published by an Urdu daily in Hyderabad on sunday, while the leading English dailies have made some excuse on not printing the same.

What a Shame, we as Indians who realise and see the day to day outcome stand as impotent spectators.

Cougar, the holdings allowed inside the forest encourages and enables the herdsmen to venture deeper and deeperinto the forest, example: if they were allowed into the forest and "exit by dusk policy" atleast this would saved the inner buffer and core areas.
The 1972 wildlife act: The Chief Wildlife Warden, has the authority to, CONTROL and REGULATE cattle movement and grazing in the forest/ sanctuary/ reserve.

Ashisih, Keep up your work, be relentless and they may not take action but one thing you are driving home is Mr. Minister what is happening at MWS is not going un-noticed. Drive this message across and get hold of the local press, it greatly helps.

Hillram,
Thanks, yes it is the Bazooka which is an extention of my body and thanks to which I manage a lot, though the pics. on this thread are all wide angle with normal lens except of the cows at the water pic.

Muralisk,
How about the whole days dump on the concerned officers desk or bed? Do you think that will wake them up??? Keep up your Araku Valley tirade.

NRKUMAR,
Thank you for your appreciation, I will do my best and continue working at wildlife conservation, more people are needed to take part in their own way, in their own place and the time they can afford. Let the drops that make an ocean come in.

Regards,

Last edited by fazalaliadil : 12th June 2009 at 20:37.
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Old 12th June 2009, 21:59   #41
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Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
as if it was the forest staff was responsible for the two tigeress getting pregnant.
ok. just to clarify: i know the case in question quite intimately becoz i am in some ways involved and i must say that the forest staff at Sariska deserve a lot more credit and appreciation than what they got! the forest staff in many cases are the real stars: underpaid overworked and mostly end up getting blamed for everything that goes wrong! will discuss offline in detail.

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Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
Cougar, the holdings allowed inside the forest encourages and enables the herdsmen to venture deeper and deeperinto the forest, example: if they were allowed into the forest and "exit by dusk policy" atleast this would saved the inner buffer and core areas.
Theoretically, the areas opened for grazing and collection are clearly demarcated and changed every season to avoid overgrazing. But this requires continuous monitoring by forest officers and guards which clearly doesnt happen. Its not that we dont have laws: the british left behind a system of checks and balances which is nearly perfect if only someone would work the system! Unfortunately our forest officers are the pits. The Maharashtra cadre is much better and miles ahead of the incompetent trash in Karnataka and MP in particular.

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Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
The 1972 wildlife actThe Chief Wildlife Warden, has the authority to, CONTROL and REGULATE cattle movement and grazing in the forest/ sanctuary/ reserve.[/b]
Forget the warden, even a Range Officer has powers to control this kind of activity. But i have seen officers in Karnataka being bought over with as little as 2 large fish illegaly caught from the cauvery!
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Old 13th June 2009, 01:56   #42
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Nice pics Fazal ! Looks like you guys were surrounded by a lot of solitude ! Good weekend getaway !

wow. can't say anything else... picture perfect—this is it.
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Old 13th June 2009, 10:52   #43
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Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
ok. just to clarify: i know the case in question quite intimately becoz i am in some ways involved the forest staff in many cases are the real stars: underpaid overworked and mostly end up getting blamed for everything that goes wrong! will discuss offline in detail.


Theoretically, the areas opened for grazing and collection are clearly demarcated and changed every season to avoid overgrazing. But this requires continuous monitoring by forest officers and guards which clearly doesnt happen. Its not that we dont have laws: the british left behind a system of checks and balances which is nearly perfect if only someone would work the system! Unfortunately our forest officers are the pits. The Maharashtra cadre is much better and miles ahead of the incompetent trash in Karnataka and MP in particular.


Forget the warden, even a Range Officer has powers to control this kind of activity. But i have seen officers in Karnataka being bought over with as little as 2 large fish illegaly caught from the cauvery!
[ATTACH]
Cougar,
Name:  tiger cubs.bmp
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The deaths of these cubs was really sad and it could have easily been prevented. Unfortunately the Department of Forests assumes that they own the reserves and their managers are not open to any suggestions. Lesser mortals like you and me can not do anything inside the reserves, at least for a few years to come. Hopefully this attitude should change.


For full story: Tiger Poaching | Aditya 'Dicky' Singh

From 40,000 tigers 60 years ago to 3,000 today?

"and i must say that the forest staff at Sariska deserve a lot more credit and appreciation than what they got!"

Why? Credit for the present Sariska or the past debacle there?

You would possibily change you opinion if you interact with the forest staff here in A.P.
My statement In the TOI (May 18th 2009) "....absence of incentives to forest staff are some major causes that would ultimately lead to the extintion of the big cat in NSTR in the next decade or so."

Apart from this, I have made a detailed report to the PCCF here, reffering to greviances like, understaffed, underpaid, lack of incentives, lack of communication systems, no vehicles to transport them into the forest, food to be supplied to staff in field.
There are 300 plus vacancies the higher ups have not bothered yet to fill and that extra burden falls on the present staff.
I still retriate, It is the grassroot staff to the top most who should be held responsible in case of any mismanagement. Accountibility is absent and every sanctuary in India is heading the Sariska way.

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wow. can't say anything else... picture perfect—this is it.
Rajeevn,
Thank you sir.
Regards,
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Old 13th June 2009, 17:17   #44
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Fazal saab, I'm truly impressed by the facts that you have highlighted in your travelogue. I've been an avid fan of the Srisailam route, especially love the forest once we climb the hills to go to Srisailam... which starts mainly from Mannanur.

I too observed quite a number of times, people sitting and boozing just a few meters from the road, especially when there is an open area. Once I saw a group of youngsters stop their car, around 7:30pm, somewhere between the two checkposts and dancing on the road with music blaring out from their car stereo.. they too were probably drunk. So much pollution such people are causing, be it the waste bottles being thrown around in the forest, or the sound pollution due to the high volume car speakers, we are actually destroying the forest slowly and steadily by each and every visit to this beautiful place. Also, there is a beautiful waterfall, called Mallelateertham some 2-3 kms after one passes the Farahabad tiger reserve gates, towards the left, where you have a muddy road to go around 7 kms inside and climb down 300 steps to reach this waterfall. Even here I have seen people getting booze and making merry...

On all the ocassions I felt so helpless that we as nature lovers aren't able to do anything to protect the environment, the forests, the nature, etc. etc. I strongly felt at that moment the callousness of the authorities who are probably not patrolling the forest area and enforcing some kind of rules and regulations, especially since this is a reserve forest.

I'm not sure how I can contribute in curbing these kind of incidents here or anywhere else. Is there anyway that we as common citizens do something about these things?

I'm not sure what I can do alone, apart from being vocal about these issues in my friends circle or among my colleagues. But yes, definitely if someone in this forum requires a helping hand in someway, please let me know. I would be glad to contribute in whatever way I can, even if it means devoting good amount of time, apart from my office...

Cheers to all the people who have been actively doing something for our mother nature
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Old 13th June 2009, 20:00   #45
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Saleem Sahib,

What a welcome response!

I too am in the same boat as you are, helpless and totally unresponded to, when I approach the forest officials, Their callous and adamant attitude is most frustrating. On one hand they behave as if the reserve is their Jagir, in the same breath they confirm their impontence in matters related to saving the forest and the animals within.

If you have any contacts in the Press use them to highlight the issues concerned. Or you can also mention these in the Deccan Chronicle, readers greiviences column or letters to the editor.

Salaam Sahib, do not stop at anything do all in your means, get your like minded friends together and think of ways to make masses aware whats happening there and also create awareness even if it in a small scale.
At Maleela theertham, after you take the left from Vatvarla Pally, you must have noticed the pollution down stream, plastic bottles and all kinds of human waste, likewise at Shikarga on the way to Farahabad (when the tourism dept. had started accomodation there) we tried to revive two adult deers who were in their dying moments after consuming plastic, but we failed. There are many incidents like this which go unreported by the concerned authorities, and your witnessing drinking and blaring music, is not new in this place.

A greater disaster awaits NSTR in the form of cattle and sheep grazing. This can be controlled by the forest department, they know better the reasons for not doing so fully realising the impact of deforestation and its direcrt consequences on the resident wildlife, I can safely put the grazing ratio of domestic animal vs wildlife 1000:1.

What in the world will reverse this trend? if there is a way out it is already too late, if not acted upon now it is an irreviserable environmental disaster waiting to happen in the next five years maximum.

The food chain that sustains the tiger gone and with it the tiger and the forest.

My friend Devidas and myself will soon be starting a NGO outfit, when we do you and your friends who are serious, are most welcome to join. Keep in touch on 98850 71025.

What started as a travelogue has evolved into a awareness campaing, it is a very positive sign and to all Hyderabad T-BHPians. It is time we stand on a common platform, and we as one will have more power and resources to do something than the present.

This is India, our country, our Natural heritage which we have a right to protect and monitor. We owe this to our country and our future generations.

Regards,

Last edited by fazalaliadil : 13th June 2009 at 20:02.
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