KARNATAKA

Ban on felling of trees on jumma lands in Kodagu goes

DELIBERATION: (From right to left) Former Minister M.C. Nanaiah, Revenue Minister Jagadish Shettar, Minister for Science and Technology Ramachandra Gowda, Forest Minister C. Chennigappa and BJP State president Sadananda Gowda at the meeting on Kodagu district, in Bangalore on Thursday . Photo: Sampath Kumar G. P.

DELIBERATION: (From right to left) Former Minister M.C. Nanaiah, Revenue Minister Jagadish Shettar, Minister for Science and Technology Ramachandra Gowda, Forest Minister C. Chennigappa and BJP State president Sadananda Gowda at the meeting on Kodagu district, in Bangalore on Thursday . Photo: Sampath Kumar G. P.  

Special Correspondent

Proposal for Greater Talacauvery park shelved

Bangalore: The State Government has permitted felling of trees on the large extant of Bane lands, also known as jumma lands, in Kodagu district. This category of land exists only in Kodagu district and these lands were made over to the people by the erstwhile Maharajas of Mysore and other rulers. People of Kodagu have been fighting for the ownership of the trees on their Bane lands over the past four years. The ban was introduced following a circular issued by the Forest Department, which stated that owners of such lands enjoyed limited privileges and could not claim ownership over the trees.

At a high-level meeting held here on Thursday, the political leaders of the Kodagu district led by former Minister M.C.Nanaiah brought to the notice of the District In-charge and Sericulture Minister, Ramachandra Gowda and Forest Minister C. Chennigappa, the difficulties faced by the people following an order of the Forest Department issued on August 5, 2004 which had negated two earlier Government orders pertaining to restricted felling of trees on the unredeemed jumma lands issued in 1998.

The Forest Minister immediately directed the withdrawal of the order issued in 2004. Mr. Ramachandra Gowda said the Government had also decided to shelve the proposal for formation of a Greater Talacauvery National Park. Under the plan, several forest belts including the famous Nagarahole National Park were to be merged into a giant national park. The formation of such a park would have resulted in the Government taking over a large number of coffee estates and hence the local Kodagu population was against the park.

Relocation of tribal people

The State Government has also decided to relocate over 700 families of tribal people residing in the peripheral areas of the Nagarahole National Park. They would be provided all facilities.

Mr. Ramachandra Gowda said the authorities would speed up the applications pertaining to regularisation of encroached lands and around 34,000 acres would be made over to the people shortly. To prevent elephant menace, the District in-charge Minister said the Government would look into erecting solar fencing around the forest areas.

The Forest Department would also plant bamboo and other saplings which in turn would prevent the elephants from entering coffee estates for food.

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