Karnataka

Yettinahole: MoEF panel gives in-principle nod for diversion of forest land

The Regional Empowered Committee (REC) of the Ministry of Environment and Forests has given in-principle approval for diversion of 13.39 hectares of forest land in Sakleshpur taluk for the controversial Yettinahole project (Stage 1). The committee, headed by Amaranath Shetty, APCCF, had in its minutes of the meeting, recorded that the proposal to divert forest land in favour of Executive Engineer of Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Ltd. would be approved in-principle, with specific conditions. It has asked the government to appoint a committee, with an officer not below the rank of Chief Secretary, to monitor the compliance of the conditions.

The committee has asked the user agency (KNNL) to take up a study on the ecological impact of the project on the downstream ecosystem through a reputed institution, besides demanding an undertaking on facilitating free movement of aquatic fauna during monsoon. The committee has said the agency should not fell trees on the land earmarked for dumping and plant on the land below the power line and along the rising main pile. It has also asked the agency to give an undertaking to plant at least 10,000 plants of tree species suitable for the bird and bee population along the pipeline and service road.

On the execution of the project, it said movement of men, vehicles and machinery should be limited to day time and camping in forest-based worksites should not be permitted. Work should be carried out between sunrise and sunset. Blasting inside forests should be minimised and carried out only during the day, it said.

During the meeting, environmentalists opposing the project met the panel and presented their arguments. The committee has recorded their concerns. K.N. Somashekhar of the Save Western Ghats Forum, who has moved the National Green Tribunal against the project, told The Hindu , “The REC has favoured the KNNL in its clearance. We are not happy with it.”

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Printable version | Mar 4, 2021 10:28:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/yettinahole-moef-panel-gives-inprinciple-nod-for-diversion-of-forest-land/article8047391.ece

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