The State government has drawn up plans to create 32 in the forests, especially in Kodagu, Shimoga, Udupi, Dakshina Kannada, Chikmagalur and Mysore districts, for protecting both the people residing within the forests and wild animals.

After the Cabinet Sub Committee on Forest discussed these issues, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T.B. Jayachandra, who chaired the meeting, said that this would be tabled before the State Cabinet and then sent to the Union government for approval.

Mr. Jayachandra said that the Union government had, in its guidelines to the States, suggested that there should be a 10-km zone near each human habitat where big construction activity, power lines of more than 11 kVA, big resorts and industries could not be allowed to come up.

However, small constructions such as homestays could be allowed.

He said that the zones could be just one, two or three kilometres away from the habitats.

Asked whether these guidelines were binding on the State government, he said that there was no law to regulate such activities in the State.

He said that the State forest officers would discuss the issue with the Union government and convince it of the workable alternatives, based on specific reasons.

Wherever it was difficult to implement the guidelines, the State government would strive to get relief to the people, he said.

Objection

The committee also discussed the situation arising out of a case filed by the Goa Foundation before the Green Bench of the Supreme Court at Chennai.

The committee decided to file an objection within 10 days to the demand of the Goa Foundation that the Kasturirangan Committee report, which was notified by the Union government, be implemented.

Mr. Jayachandra said that the notification had adversely impacted development activities worth Rs. 25,000 crore in the Western Ghats. Works of the Indian Institute of Science, the DRDO and a unit for the manufacture of unmanned aerial vehicles in Challakere of Chitradurga district had been stopped due to public protests.

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