Commercial activity in botanical gardens

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Commercial activity (mall, multiplex, hotel, convention center) in the name of visitor ameneties for eco-tourism-- in botanical gardens of Hyderabad

Transcript of Commercial activity in botanical gardens

  • 1. Commercialization of botanical gardensHotel, convention center, mall, Office Blocks, Merchandise Multiplex and commercial blocks.. in the name of eco-tourism
    --The botanical gardens scam ?

2. Background
Originally, reserve forest area spread over 274.11 acres in Kothaguda, RangaReddy Dist, AP (now popularly known as botanical gardens, hyderabad).
Now, a bio diversity conservation and eco-tourism project is coming up in
This 274.11 acres of reserved forest and
Another 6.5 acres(revenue land located in Sy No 62 of Kothaguda village, serlingampallymandal)
3. Eco-tourism project Details
4. So whats wrong in bio diversity conservation and eco tourism?
In the name of visitors amenities for promoting bio diversity conservation and eco tourism,
152,000 sq mts (16,36,611 sft) built up area is being constructed in ground coverage area of 76,000 sq mtrs (8, 18,000 sft) in the botanical gardens project.
Similar things are happening in night safari & eco park project
So, what are these visitors amenities for the eco tourism ?
5. The visitors amenities
6. Continued ..
7. 8. Is this really true
Yes.Refer to the
Concession agreement dated 19/08/2008 between APFDCL and M/S DE LARA tourism corporation ltd.
Eco tourism management plan dated 01/06/2009
GHMC RTI response confirming that they received requestto build Cottages, convention center, Hotel, Office Blocks, Merchandise Multiplex and commercial blocks etc..
9. What was the original intention
G.O. Rt No 240 issued by AP Govt in 07/2001
APFDCL to take up the eco tourism project.Areas included are (c) Kothaguda Reserved Forest (entire block) The vice chairman and managing director, APFDCL and the prl chief conservator of forests are also directed to see that the various activites/works that would proposed in the action plan for Bio-diversity Conservation and Eco-Tourism, within the limits of Reserved forests or sanctuaries or national parks or zoological parks shall be carried out strict, as per the legal provisions of various forest ..
MoEF in the in-principle approval letter dated 04/08/2004 :
Adequate emphasis on minimum use of non-renewable energy sources.Preference should be given to the projects of Forest-Toursim using renewable energy sources, eg, solar light, solar cooking, stand-alone Windmills (if feasible) etc
4d(i) No permanent structure shall be allowed to be constructed under the proposal in the forest areas.For accommodation, only temporary structures like tents/huts/collapsible structures (mean: such structures which can be dismantled and shifted from one place to another) shall be allowed.Cement/masonry work shall not be allowed above plinth level except in toilets.
The tourism facilities should be environment friendly, simple, clean and wholesome.In this regard, the type of facilities created by Jungle&lodges corporation in the state of Karnataka is a case in point.
10. What happened over time
After letters from APFDCL, MoEF in a letterdated 12/09/2005 gave permission to
4d(i) Maximum two floor (ground+1) construction will be permitted.Cement concrete construction upto plinth level shall be allowed.For construction, framed structure with cement concrete columns and beams above ground and uptofirest floor may be allowed.Other construction material should be eco-friendly like that made of bamboo, timer etc.
11. What happened over time ..
Shopping mall, 6 screen cineplex, 400 room hotel, 2500 seat theatre, bowling alley etc added to the plan
MoEF, in letter dated 20/01/2010 gave permission to revised eco-tourism management plan (of 01/06/2009) which had all these changes for mall, cineplex, hotel etc
Trying to get permission from MoEF for allowing basement parking of vehicles and utilities wherever needed in the name of maximizing green cover at ground level.
Gov of AP, EFS&T Dept already allowed this (Reference: 9748/ForII(2)/08 dt: 18.05.2009)
Still not clear what is why the 6.5 acre reserve land was allocated for botanical garden annex plan and what is the status of that land
12. Events
13. 14. So, whats next
Get all the facts out and figure out what is going well and what are the real issues
Raise awareness through media & citizen groups
Somebody might approach the courts
And hope law will take its own course
15. Related documents
Readers can form an informed opinion by going through these letters.Other documents which will give (good & bad) picture of the project are
Concession Agreement Dated 19/08/2008 between APFDCL & M/S Delara tourism corporation ltd. Some of the excerpts at http://www.citizensocial.com/uploads/issues/e814530ab8acdcb16790aff906cbe9ad84326d6f.pdf
Eco Tourism Management plan for Kothaguda reserve forest (as on 01/06/2009) which is around(89 pages + XI annexures)
GOs, approvals etc at http://www.citizensocial.com/uploads/issues/41519044a51bfcb11fd89fac10188372b1e3fcc7.pdf
For a quick summary on the commercialization, once can refer to http://www.citizensocial.com/uploads/issues/1e65faf5502f618d95d0e5d79409d8a85f4ddc2c.pptx
GHMC RTI response at http://www.citizensocial.com/uploads/issues/654622540d94764dff9aeef2770e152ecf1391f0.pdf
http://www.amchamindia.com/images/press_clip/weston.pdf