DRDO missile test launch facility gets forest clearance
- The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) has issued forest clearance (Stage-I) to the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), approving diversion of 154.42 hectares of forest land for the proposed missile test launch facility at Gullalamoda village in Krishna district.
- The land includes 46 hectares of the Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary.
- The Forest Advisory Committee of the Central government granted the clearance in May on a range of conditions under the Forest (Conservation) Act 1980.
- Work should be halted during Olive Ridleys’ nesting season.
- The Compensatory Afforestation (CA), twice in extent to the area of forest land proposed to be diverted, should be raised within three years from the date of issue of the Stage II forest clearance and land identified for the CA should be depicted on Survey of India.”
- The DRDO should transfer the funds for the Net Present Value of the forest to be diverted as per the guidelines of the Supreme Court (2008) and design a comprehensive wildlife management plan.
Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary
- It is a wildlife sanctuary and estuary located in Andhra Pradesh, India.
- It is one of the rarest eco-regions of the world because it harbors vast tracts of pristine mangrove forests.
- It is believed by conservationists to be one of the last remaining tracts of thick primary mangrove forests of South India, which is rapidly disappearing due to absence of protective measures
- It includes Sorlagondi Reserve Forest, Nachugunta Reserve Forest, Yelichetladibba Reserve Forest, Kottapalem Reserve Forest, Molagunta Reserve Forest, Adavuladivi Reserve Forest and Lankivanidibba Reserve Forest. They occupy the islands of the delta and the adjacent mainlands of Krishna and Guntur Districts.