Andhra Pradesh: Orvakallu rocks face airport risk

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Rock formations being promoted by tourism department.

Kurnool: With the government of Andhra Pradesh issuing a GO for allotment of 638 acres of land for the development and construction of Orvakal Greenfield airport to come up about 25 kilometres from Kurnool city, the protection and preservation of Orvakallu rocks as geological and ecological heritage has become a big challenge.

Faruke Quader, secretary, Society to Save Rocks (STSR), said that in the race to achieve progress, unmindful destruction to ecological and geological heritage has been quite rampant.

The proposed airport between Nannur and Orvakal would trigger off a hotly-contested battle of real estate activity that will get under way soon. Once this happens, the preservation of the rock formations, which are unique to the region would become very difficult.

The skyscrapers work that will likely start in the near future will be playing a challenging role against the heritage structures, fear environmentalists.

The Orvakallu rock formations, which are now being preserved and promoted by the tourism department, that also runs a hotel and some cottages around the structural formations, would stand to lose the antiquity and give way to the mutations that would take place, Mr Quader said.

Mr Quader said that a concerted effort has to be made to protect and preserve the rocks as geological and ecological heritage and to prevent their destruction to facilitate sustainable, eco-friendly use of rocks through the community mobilisation.

It is pertinent to note that the Owk Shale in Narnuru-Loddipalli section, the area around which the proposed airport is taking shape, is full of quartz formations.
The earth’s crust has rich and precious deposits as proved by several studies conducted throu-gh geological services.

The upper part of the Kurnool Group including the Owk Shale and the succeeding Paniam Quartzite has attracted considerable attention due to reported occurrence of fossils (impressions and trace) having late Proterozoic/ Edic-aran affinity, and the importance of such paleobiota in the Proterozoic-Cambrian boundary stratigraphy.

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