A Cabinet subcommittee, headed by Minister for Forests B. Ramanath Rai, will be set up for demarcating eco-sensitive zones around national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the State according to directions of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

Presently, a 2-km zone has been demarcated by authorities around the Bandipur Tiger Reserve and this has led to a total ban on quarrying and other activities within the zone. There are five national parks and 27 wildlife sanctuaries in the State. The Cabinet subcommittee would study and prepare a report on demarcating eco-sensitive zones around other national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. The report would be sent to the Centre for demarcating boundaries, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T.B. Jayachandra told presspersons after a Cabinet meeting here on Thursday.

According to the Centre’s guidelines, commercial mining, setting up of industries causing pollution, commercial use of firewood, establishment of hydroelectric projects, use or production of any hazardous substances, tourism activities and discharge of effluents are prohibited in the eco-sensitive zones, he said. The Supreme Court has directed the Centre and States to demarcate a 10-km area around national parks as buffer zone.

Nomination of member

A member of the Anglo-Indian community would be nominated to the Legislative Assembly and the State Cabinet had empowered the Chief Minister to select the candidate, he said. The Cabinet cleared roadworks between Kothanur and Avalahalli in Bangalore city at a cost of Rs. 1.19 crore. Tenders of other works were not cleared since contractors had quoted high cost, Mr. Jayachandra said.

Airport

It was decided to approach the Airports Authority of India for developing an airport in Bijapur. The contract awarded to Marg company had been terminated and the deposited amount of Rs. 2.5 crore would be withdrawn, he said.

Dismissed

Sudatai Hiremani, Assistant Director, APMC, Sirsi, has been dismissed from service for alleged illegal sale of 30 acres of land for Rs. 15 lakh at Kesanur village in Bagalkot. The property would be recovered, the Minister said.

It was also decided to dismiss B.M. Mallanna, Assistant Executive Engineer, Raichur Zilla Panchayat, from service for allegedly misusing funds sanctioned for drinking water project.

Water project

It was decided to implement a drinking water project in 1,000 villages at a cost of Rs. 179.79 crore.

The cost of a setting up a plant to supply potable water in each village would be Rs. 17 lakh.

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