Profile of Kommula Mahender Reddy
(Knowledge Partner – CIPS)
As DFO, Wildlife Management, Jannaram, set up Environmental Education Centre & Deer Breeding Centre in Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary, Jannaram. He was held captive by people who were Naxalites, during the discussions convinced them about the benefits of implementing Joint Forest Management (JFM). Impressed by the discussion the Naxalites released him from their captivity with a promise of non-obstruction to the implementation of the scheme. They kept up the promise while implementation of JFM.
While working as Environmental Officer he convinced World Bank team and the consultants to shift the centre line of the existing road to one side of the road with that he saved about 75,000 matured trees on one side of the road during the widening of the said road total 1400 kilometres throughout AP state. In Jangareddy Gudem town requested and convinced religious heads in shifting of 250-year-old mosque and the 300-year-old temple which was a big problem in road widening and helped the communities in constructing new spacious premises. This is a record of sorts in Indian conditions.
Managed to get clearance from MoEF for widening of road from Nandyal to Thokapalli through Project Tiger, Srisailam. Held addl. charge as rehabilitation resettlement officer for 4-years during which rehabilitated and resettled thousands of people who were affected by the widening of the road for the first time in Andhra Pradesh. Foolproof measures were taken for the first time in the road sector to mitigate the adverse effects of pollution while implementing the project which was appreciated by local and central governments.
As Deputy Conservator of Forest (Social Forestry), achieved green cover in barren hills in and around the Saraswathi Temple, Basar. The then PCCF, sanctioned two eco-tourism projects i.e., Kuntala and Pochera Waterfalls in erstwhile Adilabad District. He successfully implemented these projects which are entertaining the local and people from far-off in large numbers. His concept of Vana-Devatha which was installed at Pochera being utilized by the Forest Department on many occasions. During his tenure at Adilabad, the NH-44 stretch is widened because of it the travelling time from Hyderabad-Adilabad reduced by almost 3 hours. As Dy. Director, APFA assisted the Director in many specialized training programmes such as Capsule training to Judicial Officers in which they were exposed to wilderness as they camped inside forests during nights in tents by which the conviction rate is more now.
He started organizing school children visiting forest areas inside Forest Academy on Saturdays showing them different kinds of trees & birds to create awareness about the biodiversity which is a huge success. Participated in CoP-11 in 2012 as Liaison Officer to Zambian dignitary and it went off very peacefully.
Now after retirement, he is working as Advisor to the Ekalavya Foundation on Environment and Forest issues.