Corporate name : Society to Save Rocks
Number of beneficiaries :
Duration : 3 months
Communities : Urban and rural
Location : Mahabubnagar
13 – Climate Action, 15 – Life on land
Area of work :
Landscape protection has no legal backing in India, and to put up effective systems to preserve at least some of our rockscape takes patience and perseverance. The Government of Andhra Pradesh had notified rock areas in and around Hyderabad as Heritage Precincts under the Heritage Regulations of the Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority. Since 1998, 25 Rock Sites in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy Districts had been notified, all at the proposal of the Society (see our website www.saverocks.org under “Preservation”). With the deletion of the Heritage Regulations of the HMDA and the promulgation of the new Heritage Act for the whole of Telangana in 2017 by the new Government of Telangana, the protection of these rock sites is in question, especially since the Heritage Act does not yet contain specified rock areas in the state for Heritage protection. The Society, therefore, proposes to undertake a scientific survey of special rock areas in 7 of the former (bigger) districts of Telangana.
To continue this Survey in the rest of 7 districts of Telangana to be submitted to the Government of Telangana for inclusion in the new Heritage Act (BILL TO PROVIDE FOR THE CONSERVATION, PRESERVATION, RESTORATION AND MAINTENANCE OF TANGIBLE AND INTANGIBLE HERITAGE OF TELANGANA ….) which intends to protect “natural heritage which includes the features consisting of physical and geological formations or groups of such formations which are of outstanding value”, but has not listed any.
1.Survey The Managing Committee of the Society will constitute a Committee to oversee the conduct of the Survey. The Committee will constitute teams for survey and give them the mandate and the questionnaire to be filled after consulting local people and authorities. The Survey teams will have experts in Geology, Botany, Zoology, Hydrology and Landscape Architecture. The Committee will ask one of the members to act as the Convenor and Rapporteur. They will begin with a literature survey, visit the field to interact with knowledgeable persons to narrow down the more important rock formations and then visit the rocks and nearby villages to canvass the questionnaire and also document their beliefs about the rock. The survey teams will also make sample scientific studies to establish the importance of the rocks necessitating their conservation and also photograph them. Thereafter, the Convenor will assemble the material for each district and give the report to the Committee, which will cover, inter alia: a. Making a list of important rock formations. b. Listing distinctive geo-scientific features including water storage; zoological, botanical and ecological as well as historical, cultural, artistic and religious features. c. Establishing location co-ordinates including mode of access like the nearest bus station or railhead and distances and a district map showing the locations. d. Proposing measures for conservation and promotion of sustainable tourism incorporating the views of local communities. e. Documenting all major rock formations by digital photography. The teams will give special advance reports if required, wherever destructive activity is noticed. 2. Awareness Building The survey method will be so designed as to concurrently build processes of community awareness of the environmental importance of rocky sites and involvement in the conservation of this local heritage. This builds up processes of involving larger communities in preservation and prevention of destruction. The survey should lead to community ownership of their heritage. The ownership will imply recognition of sacredness of nature, namely rivers, forests, mountains, rocks and all life forms. 3. Report Based on the reports of the survey teams, the Committee will commission the preparation of the final report by an Editorial Board nominated by it. This report will cover early notifications for conservation, formation of local committees, spreading awareness of the heritage and ecological features. The promotion of tourism will be on the basis of not exceeding the carrying capacity of the area and giving some gainful employment to local people. The Society will ensure dissemination of the report to the larger public. 4. Outcomes 1. The Final Report 2. List of Rock Sites that are to be included in the Heritage Act of Telangana 3. List of rock sites, which could be developed for recreation and tourism 4. Mapping and Listing of Flora and Fauna 5. Community informed on the issue 6. Government departments sensitized to the issue 7. Building of teams of dedicated persons, NGOs, Officials, scientists. 5. Time Frame The time estimated to be required would be 3 months per (former) district of Telangana. Several teams could work simultaneously, depending on the personnel available.