Karnataka

Greens oppose canal work in blackbuck conservation reserve

Environmentalists want authorities to realign the canal that is part of the Upper Bhadra project through Basur Kawal Blackbuck Conservation Reserve in Kadur taluk.

Environmentalists want authorities to realign the canal that is part of the Upper Bhadra project through Basur Kawal Blackbuck Conservation Reserve in Kadur taluk.  

A group of environmentalists has opposed the construction of a canal as part of Upper Bhadra project through Basur Kawal Blackbuck Conservation Reserve and Biluvala Kawal in Kadur taluk.

They have demanded that the State government realign the canals considering the conservation of wildlife and grasslands, critical for breeding Amrit Mahal cattle.

In a press release on Monday, Shreedev Hulikere of WildCAT-C, D.V. Girish of Bhadra Wildlife Conservation Trust, and S. Girijashankar, former member of State Board for Wildlife, urged Visvesaraya Jala Nigam Ltd., the agency implementing the project, to realign the canals avoiding wildlife habitats. They have also written to senior officers of the State government on this issue.

The agency had sought forest clearance for 31.57 ha of Basur Kawal and 15.3 ha of Bilwala Kawal in Kadur taluk to lay canals to carry water from Bhadra reservoir to dry areas.

The environmentalists said the State government had declared Basur Kawal as Blackbuck Conservation Reserve as per recommendation of the Karnataka State Wildlife Advisory Board in 2012. Besides that, protecting the grasslands would be significant considering the wildlife endemic to these areas.

“The area had been an important habitat for blackbuck, Indian wolf, Indian fox, Indian Courser, and Sand Grouse among others. Karnataka originally had 4 lakh acres of Amrit Mahal Kawal. Now, it has come down to only 60,000 acres,” environmentalists said.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 2:59:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/greens-oppose-canal-work-in-blackbuck-conservation-reserve/article31782096.ece

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