Chittoor is a gem of a district
Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh a Gem of a District. Chittoor district is one the most potentially rich districts of Andhra Pradesh. It is an irony that with hundreds of other minor forest products including the precious red sandal, rich faunas, agriculture produces, different colored granite stones, immense pilgrim and tourism potential, Chittoor is limping among other backward districts of India.
Chittoor district is one the most potentially rich districts of Andhra Pradesh. It is an irony that with hundreds of other minor forest products including the precious red sandal, rich faunas, agriculture produces, different colored granite stones, immense pilgrim and tourism potential, Chittoor is limping among other backward districts of India.
Thirty years back there was plenty of water in Chittoor district and the temperature was below 30 degree in summer. Today waterless life, soaring mercury, unemployment, poverty and backwardness continue to be nagging problems in Chittoor. Politicians and planners are clueless to put the district on the development track again. Distribution of subsidy has created a mass of idle energy across the state as people lose interest in entrepreneurship and look for loan waivers and freebies. The number of willful defaulters in the district is at the increase. Chittoor district grows ground nut, jowar, ragi, millets, horse gram, red gram, cowpea and bajra etc. The Pungnur block is famous for its famous tamarind. Nearly 5000 families are engaged in preparing tamarind products in Pungnur. There is a famous indigenous cow called Pungnur breed. Pungnur breed is very beautiful and small in size. It gives 3 to 5 litres of rich quality milk per day. There is an urgent need to save this exotic pungnur breed from extinction. This climate resistant cow can be a great help for thousands of poor families in Chittoor district.
Over decades thousands of blocks of precious granite stones have been transported out of the state from Chittoor. The district loses huge revenue due to granite smuggling and unaccounted granite quarrying. The district loses employment and income by not doing value addition to stones in Chittoor. Value addition to granite stone can generate employment for local people in Chittoor.
The red sandal wood is one of the most precious forest products of Chittoor. The wood is used for making musical instrument in Japan and the wood has high medicinal value. Unfortunately the value addition is not done in Chittoor itself. Huge quantity of red sandal is sold for value addition in other countries. The reported incident of red sandal smuggling is pouring in. The estimated loss due to red sandal smuggling in the last ten years has not been assessed so far.
It is the beautiful rock formation and the forest cover which makes Chittoor a magnificent district. Chittoor has immense pilgrim tourism potential as Tirupati forms the center of attraction here. Vibrant pilgrim tourism can create huge employment and income for Chittoor district. Tirupati can serve as a hub for Vedanta philosophy and a center of oriental study. The Sheshachalam forest which covers the Tirumala hill which is the abode of Lord Balaji is the main attraction. And the forest and hills protect the entire region from harsh climate change. Unfortunately about 10,000 hectares of green forest was destroyed due to forest fire in March 2014. This place has become the happy hunting ground for poachers. The abode of Lord Balaji should be saved from forest fire and poachers. There is need for strong vigil through drone air craft on Lord’s forest abode which has its origin in the Indian mythologies and the Puranas.
By Sudhansu R Das