Members of the Chitradurga-based Irrigation and Environment Protection Forum on Tuesday alleged that medicinal plants and wildlife of the Tuppadahole Reserve Forest in Channagiri taluk, Davangere district, are under threat with Government permitting the Chitradurga Wind Power Company to install a power plant in the forest.
The forum members have threatened to launch an agitation if the Government fails to protect the reserve forest.
Addressing presspersons here on Tuesday, forum president Murugarajendra Odeyar said that the evergreen Tuppadahole Reserve Forest has precious medicinal plants and wildlife. “The Government had permitted the wind power project and the company is blasting rocks inside the forest to install towers. The company has put up a caution board at the Kanchinahal Gate in the reserve forest that blast work is under way. Although the forest officials are aware of this, they are keeping quiet,” he said.
There is a possibility of wild animals entering villages because of the blasting work, he said.
Mr. Odeyar said the Chief minister and Forest Minister had recently stated that the Government is committed to protect the reserve forest. “Allowing the wind power plant is contradictory to their statement,” he said.
Forum secretary C. Venkatesh pointed out that Guru Basavaswamy of Pandomatti Virakta Math and farmers of the surrounding villages had also opposed the project in January. “How has the district administration allowed blasting despite strong opposition from the village residents. Moreover, the company has not obtained permission from the local gram panchayats,” he charged and urged the Government to take steps to protect the forest.
He alleged that the company had obtained the required permission and licences by furnishing false documents. “We have obtained all this information through the Right to Information Act. If the Government does not intervene to protect the reserve forest, we will launch an intensified agitation,” he added.