Any 10-year-old would know that Hyderabad lies on the Deccan Plateau. The rocks of Hyderabad that form the beauteous horizon in the outskirts are all the remnants of a land more than 2.5 billion years old. But how many actually realize that the spectacular rock formations that are strewn across this Deccan Plateau are on the verge of being virtually wiped out by our selfish needs? This very thought that might appall the common man has the environmentalists and nature lovers of the city up in arms. For this very purpose, The Society To Save Rocks was formed as an NGO in 1992, and became a registered society by 1996.
The Society To Save Rocks believes that rapid urbanization has led to uncontrolled mining and quarrying of the rocks in and around the city limits. Apart from in the more far-flung areas around Hyderabad, the breath-taking rock formations have become a rare sight. With the government promoting tourism in Hyderabad, doing away with these lifeless rocks for man-made structures makes bad logic.
Apart from the beauty factor, there are also ecological and scientific reasons for the preservations of our environment. As Siraj Taher of A P Birdwatcher's Society
says, "Rocks are not just barren and lifeless monoliths with only an aesthetic or sentimental value, but contain a plethora of life forms. Geckos and mongooses live among them, and Great Horned Owls, Spotted Owlets, vultures, mynas and swifts nest in their crevices and openings."
Spearheading the awareness program in Hyderabad, The Society has got the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority to put 9 rock sites under the protection of Heritage Regulations. The President of the Society, N Luther, has produced a "Rockumentary" and various other features that have appeared on Doordarshan, ETV, All India Radio etc. For their 8th anniversary in January, 2004, the Society organized the city's most well-known concert that featured the fusion band Indian Ocean amongst the scenic sunsets at Durgam Cheruvu
. Hopefully, it will not need much more PR to sensitize locals.