By Dr Keshav Rao Devulapally
On 20 July, I was driving to Warangal along with a classmate to attend the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of Kakatiya Medical College. Like always, I was hoping for a visual treat a little after I exited the main part of Hyderabad and entered the Bhongir Bypass road. Because as you cross the majestic Bhongir fort perched on a 500 feet tall hill, amidst a range of several hills, the road reminds you of a few cowboy English films of yesteryears. It is a visual feast to nature lovers as rocky hills bereft of any vegetation make for an impressive backdrop.
Ever since Yadagirigutta temple received the patronage of the present state government, thousands are travelling by this road daily.
But my expectations were belied as I witnessed heavy machinery at work that were bringing down huge boulders and leveling the hills to develop as plots by a real estate company. The government’s move to build a road, like everywhere else in India, was followed by the move to develop and sell plots.
There is a strong case for the government to survey and identify geological structures of aesthetic value which also give a character to the region across Telangana and preserve them for future generations. It took probably millions of years for these formations to develop. So many generations before us have looked at them with awe and wonder but our generation is hell bent on destroying them, leaving no trace of the hills for future generations to gape at and admire.
We may become a 5 trillion economy but won’t be able to bring back these natural wonders. Future generations will blame us for our greed and lack of foresight.
In the West, great care is taken to protect their natural assets . We have already lost much of Deccan Rocky Hills due to development of Hitech city. If our planners had foresight, they could have incorporated some of the magnificent rocks to make them part of the landscape. Unfortunately it did not happen.
It is also important to protect the landscape as it will boost tourism to Yadagirigutta and Warangal. The government can include preservation of hills into Yadadri development as part of eco-conservation and integrated development.
(Dr Keshav Rao is a Consultant Psychiatrist)