Call to amend Forest Conservation Act

CHIKMAGALUR, MARCH 3. Amending the Forest Conservation Act is the only option remaining to overcome the encroachment problem, D.K. Taradevi, former Union Minister, has said.

She made this observation after visiting the family of Chandre Gowda, who committed suicide recently. Chandre Gowda had encroached upon the Sargod Reserve Forests.

She said courts, which passed orders under the Forest Conservation Act, were not aware of the facts in the encroached areas. Failure to submit the facts before the courts was the main reason for the problem to assume alarming proportions, she added.

Pointing out that the number of persons who had committed suicide in the areas had risen to six, she said the destruction of plantations should stop. She regretted that three Ministers from Chikmagalur district had failed to inform the Government about the seriousness of the problem. Urging the Chief Minister to call a Cabinet meeting and bring pressure on the Centre in this regard, Ms. Taradevi stressed the need to file an application in the Supreme Court to stop destruction of plantations.