Special Correspondent

SHIMOGA: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa will declare Ambaragudda hillock near Kodachadri and Ammanaghatta, both in Hosnagar taluk of Shimoga district, as natural heritage sites of the Western Ghats region, at a function to be held at the Mcgann Hospital here on Monday.

Chairman of the Western Ghats Task Force Ananth Hegde Ashishar said that the Government had decided to protect these places as natural heritage sites of the Western Ghats region in response to a recommendation made by the Task Force.

Ambaragudda forms an important part of the Sharavathy valley. Ambaragudda, which oversees the Linganamakki Reservoir of the Sharavathy Hydel Power Project, faces the threat of depletion of forest and other natural resources owing to mining operations.

Five tributaries of the Sharavathy originate in the ranges of Ammanaghatta, a religious place. Efforts were being made since the last three years by activists of several environmental organisations to protect this place, he said. Mr. Ashishar said that declaration of Ambaragudda and Ammanaghatta as natural heritage sites would help in their protection in a natural way.

He said that the Task Force, Forest Department and State Biodiversity Council would jointly take up the task of identifying more such spots in catchment areas of the Tunga, the Bhadra and the Sharavathy during 2009-10.