BANGALORE: The former Minister, S.S. Patil, criticised the Forests Department in the Legislative Assembly for its failure in utilising Central grants for afforestation and forest conservation and related development activity and urged the Forests and Environment Minister C. Chennigappa to pull up his officials for the serious lapses.
Participating in a debate on the demands for grants on Monday, the Congress member also asked the Minister to accomplish his duty and then think of relinquishing his post after October 3.
Mr. Chennigappa announced recently that he would not like to be in the Council of Ministers after October 3 when the Janata Dal (S) transfers power to the Bharatiya Janata Party and that he would concentrate on organisational works.
Earlier, supporting Vatal Nagaraj (Kannada Chalavali Vatal Paksha) during zero hour, Mr. Patil demanded immediate action against those who were responsible for the death of peacocks in Shirhatti of Gadag district.
Mr. Nagaraj and Mr. Patil alleged that the peacocks died after consuming seeds laced with poison in a farmland.
The members said that this amounted to a serious offence under the Wildlife Protection Act and demanded the immediate arrest of those responsible for it.
Mr. Chennigappa, in his reply, said that a team of senior officers from the Police and Forests departments had been deputed to Shirhatti and promised to take action against the guilty. He said that the enquiry had revealed the involvement of two persons, but the details were yet to come.
Mr. Nagaraj staged a walkout in protest against the “unsatisfactory” reply of the Minister. Mr. Patil also asked Mr. Chennigappa to enforce the Wildlife Protection Act in view of the rise in incidents involving killing of leopards, snakes and birds.