Visakhapatnam: EAS Sarma, former Secretary to Government of India urged District Collector V.Vinay Chand and VMDA Commissioner Koteswara Rao to get the instance of a film company trammeling the Erramatti Dibbalu, in Narellavalasa village in Bheemunipatnam mandal, with heavy equipment disturbing ecological balance. He appealed to the authorities to punish the culprits. This is the third letter written by by the IAS officer to the district authorities. He suggested to Koteswara Rao to erect a fence around Erramatti Dibbalu to prevent future encroachment. Earlier he had written to the district collector on 23 April 2019 and 10 November 2020 on the same subject. Dr Kotikuppala Surya Rao, a Padam Shri awardee physician, wrote to the chief justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court which had taken it as a petition and issued notices to the district authorities.
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Here is Sarma’s letter in full:
“As per the enclosed news report, a film producing company encroached over the Erra Matti Dibbalu recently, deployed heavy earth moving equipment and left a heavy footprint that would have severely damaged the delicate ecology of the sand dunes.
“As per the enclosed GSI Resolution dated 19-7-2014 in which Erra Matti Dibbalu have been notified as a “Geoheritage Site”, “the dissected and stabilized coastal red sediment mounds, locally known as Erra Matti Dibbalu are bounded by l7o 51′ 55″ N and I7 o 52 ‘ 46 ” N latitudes and 83o 24 ‘n29 “E and 86 o 26 ‘ 39 ” E longitudes.
Also enclosed is a sketch map approved by erstwhile VUDA showing the red ravine sand dunes to be protected.
Dr K. Surya Rao (A Padma Sri awardee and a resident of Vizag) had written on this to Hon’ble Chief Justice of AP High Court in the past and the latter had treated the same as a PIL making the Government and VUDA respondents. In other words, this matter is still sub judice.
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The instance of a film producing company intruding into this unique geoheritage site would not have occurred had VMRDA taken adequate steps to fence the area and drafted the local youth from Narellavalasa village as watch and ward to protect the site. Even at this belated stage, I request VMRDA to erect a fence to enclose the area bounded by the coordinates indicated in the GSI Resoloution as referred above and treat the entire geohiritage site as a protected area.
In the instant case, I suggest that the above instance be investigated and culprits penalised in a deterrent manner.
E A S Sarma