The building of the bio-lab in Seshachalam Hills near Tirupati
The building of the bio-lab in Seshachalam Hills near Tirupati

Tirupati: The scientific research lab in the Seshachalam Hills was closed after higher officials of the Forest department had allotted the building to the Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force (RSASTF) for office space, according to sources.

Researchers and locals are opposing the handing over lab to task force activities. Ten years ago, the Tirupati Wildlife Management Circle of the Forest department had set up the biodiversity lab to encourage research on the variety of flora and fauna found in the Seshachala forest. Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of the Tirupati Wildlife Management Division was not aware of the biodiversity lab building was allotted to the RSASTF. 

The task force personnel reportedly insisting the forest officials to vacate the building, but they refused to hand over it. The main purpose of establishing the lab was to disclose the details of rare flora and fauna with specimen to the common people and students. Another activity is to provide scientific details of the locally surviving endangered species to the forest researchers.

The present bio-lab building is very close to Kapila Theertham and it is easy for Tirumala pilgrims to visit the lab and know about the plants and animals, reptiles and amphibians found in Seshachalam forest. Specimen of around 300 variety species including rare and endangered of Seshachalam forest were preserved in chemical bottles in the lab.

According to sources, DFO Nagarjuna Reddy wrote a letter to the higher officials of the Forest department to show the suitable place to continue the bio-lab in the interests of the local people, pilgrims and tourists. Speaking to The Hans India, a senior forest official said that task force cops can renovate the existing employees’ quarters for office space in the same camps of bio-lab. 

He further stated shifting of specimen kept in glass jars is risky. “Shifting of bio-lab is not correct decision as the present building is accessible to all,” said forest trekker TV Babu. 

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