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Windmills wipe out Rayalaseema’s green cover

ANANTAPUR: The green cover of the Rayalaseema region is being ruthlessly destroyed as windmills are being set up in forest and government lands and the state government has not asked the companies to develop alternative greenery.

Thanks to suitable climatic conditions and also availability of adequate land to set up windmills, companies from various parts of the country have leased government lands in Kurnool, Kadapa and Anantapur districts.

About 100 km long stretches of land, from Vajraakarur mandal in the northwest part of the district towards Roddam mandal, connecting Uravakonda, Kalyanadurg, Ramagiri and Penukonda areas, had been identified as suitable locations for tapping wind energy and most of the government lands, including semi hillock regions of the forest department, were given on lease to private companies to establish windmills.

Unfortunately, with no proper guidelines to protect the existing greenery, these companies have reportedly denuded the hillocks of green cover for setting up the windmills, for building roads to transport equipment and to lay the electricity lines along with transformers at each windmill to connect with the grid.

The afforestation wing of the forest department had been reportedly developing greenery here for the past one decade but all their work went down the drain while setting up the windmills.

According to sources, the green cover has disappeared from more than 1,000 acres. While areas like Roddam, Penukonda and Kalyanadurg have windmills, there is no scope of the greenery returning here in the near future, say sources.