Chairperson of the Western Ghats Task Force Ananth Hegde Ashisar said on Saturday that there was no proposal to extend the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary to include parts of Dakshina Kannada.

Addressing presspersons after a meeting with officials of the Forest Department, Mr. Ashisar said that there was no move to include parts of Dakshina Kannada in the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, which is in Kodagu.

He said the notification on a buffer zone for the park was being discussed. People from a number of villages in Sullia and Belthangady taluks were planning to stage protests against the move on Sunday.

On the gas pipeline project of Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure Limited from Chennai to Mangalore through the Western Ghats, Mr. Ashisar said that no such project had sought clearance from the Department of Forests.

On the property of KIOCL at Kudremukh, Mr. Ashisar said that there were proposals to set up a police training facility and a research centre there. But they were still being considered and no final decision had been taken.

The task force would establish two tree parks at Badagabettu near Manipal and near Pilikula in Mangalore, Mr. Ashisar said.

Planting saplings along the coast would be a “permanent solution” to sea erosion. But it was a “low priority” for the Department of Ports, he said. A biodiversity component must be added to the plans to deal with sea erosion, Mr. Ashisar said.

The Department of Forests had planted 90,000 saplings on 37 hectares of land in Kundapur taluk. A 10-km stretch of the Shalmali river in Uttara Kannada had been declared as a protected riverine ecosystem, a step that was unique, he said.

The number of medicinal plants conservation areas had been increased to 23, by adding 10 more areas. Areas at Agumbe in Udupi district, Sullia and Charmade in Dakshina Kannada had been declared as medicinal plants conservation areas, he said.

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