Bengaluru

Adventure trek turns into a nightmare for Bengaluru youths

The team had trekked into the M.M. Hills wildlife sanctuary area without securing permission from the Forest Department.  

An adventure trek in M.M. Hills Wildlife Division turned out to be a nightmare for a group of young professionals from Bengaluru, after the Forest Department officials rounded them up for interrogation and filed cases against the organiser for violation of law.

The incident took place in Kuratti Hosur beat of Cowdalli Wildlife Range in M.M. Hills Sanctuary on Saturday. The 18-member group had responded to the website, www.adventuresome.in, of a private adventure company, which had promoted the trek.

The authorities were alerted when they learnt of the B.R. Hills Night Camp and Waterfall Trek advertised on the portal and kept a tab on it.

M. Malathi Priya, Deputy Conservator of Forests, M.M. Hills Wildlife Division, said a joint team of officials from the Forest Department, Chamarajanagar circle, cracked the illegal adventure activity. She said the team, which included herself and S. Lingaraju, Director and Conservator, BRT Tiger Reserve, started their operation by following the group heading towards the camp site. The group was tracked from their pick-up point in Madiwala, Bengaluru, till they reached the destination point of Kuratti Hosur.

Their base camp was fixed at a private land belonging to Chennappa Shetty, whose son Chennabasappa was the local tour organiser. “On Saturday night, the team illegally trekked into the wildlife sanctuary area (Marianae Gudda) without securing permission from the department, said Ms. Priya. The trekkers were intercepted inside the sanctuary, she said.

It transpired that Prashanth from Bengaluru, along with Chennabasappa from Kuratti Hosur, used to bring trekking groups and house them in camps in their private farm adjoining M.M. Hills Wildlife Division.

They would then take them trekking inside the wildlife sanctuary without obtaining permission from the Forest Department, said Ms. Priya.

A majority of the trekkers were IT professionals working in Bengaluru. They had confirmed their participation online without realising that it was illegal to trek inside wildlife sanctuaries.

The authorities released all the trekkers after they acknowledged their ignorance of the forest laws. They were let off with a warning.

A case has been booked against Chennabasappa, Prashanth, Pandurang and driver Anil, who were aware of the law and yet conducted illegal trekking inside the wildlife sanctuary.

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Printable version | Mar 7, 2021 8:31:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/Adventure-trek-turns-into-a-nightmare-for-Bengaluru-youths/article14483318.ece

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