‘Protect Bannerghatta National Park’

Updated - July 24, 2018 07:52 am IST

Published - July 23, 2018 10:20 pm IST

Territory matters: A file picture of the white tiger at the Bannerghatta Zoological Park. Special Arrangement

Territory matters: A file picture of the white tiger at the Bannerghatta Zoological Park. Special Arrangement

Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar has written to the Union Minister of Environment and Forests Harshvardhan against the State government’s proposal to dilute the Eco-Sensitive zone (ESZ) around Bannerghatta National Park.

As reported by The Hindu on April 10, 2017, the Forest Department had suggested cutting the ESZ, which act as a buffer around the park, from the 269 sq.km. proposed in the draft notification to 181 sq. km. The final notification is yet to be issued.

Mr. Chandrashekhar said the park is a critical wildlife corridor and is crucial to maintaining ecological balance and sustainability for Bengaluru.

He noted that while pressure from citizens and activists had seen closure of numerous mines around the park, dilution of the ESZ could allow for opening of the ecologically-damaging mines.

Meanwhile, Bangalore Environment Trust (BET) has written to the Chief Secretary objecting to plans of constructing a Satellite Town Ring Road through the park. As reported by The Hindu on July 10, the National Highway Authority of India has proposed an elevated corridor through the park as part of a 179.63-km STRR. This would include 6.27km in the core area and more than 7km in eco-sensitive areas.

In his letter, A.N. Yellappa Reddy, a former forest official and chairman of BET, said the movement of thousands of vehicles through the park would not only increase pollution, but also adversely impact wildlife and hydrological capabilities of the sprawling park.

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