KARNATAKA

Government urged to save Kaanu forest from encroachment

Shankara Sharma, environmentalist from Mysuru, at an interactive session on climate change and its control in Shivamogga on Friday.— Photo: VAIDYA

Shankara Sharma, environmentalist from Mysuru, at an interactive session on climate change and its control in Shivamogga on Friday.— Photo: VAIDYA  

Forest, Revenue departments told to conduct a survey of the area

B.M. Kumaraswamy, environmentalist and former member of the Western Ghats Taskforce, has urged the government to initiate measures to conserve the Kaanu forest, which is on a Revenue land in the Malnad region.

Mr. Kumaraswamy was speaking at a public consultation meeting convened by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) on climate changes here on Friday.

At present, there was a confusion between the Forest and the Revenue departments over the ownership of Kaanu forest area, which is rich in bio-diversity. However, the forest is being encroached and the felling of trees had been going on, unabated. The Forest and the Revenue departments should take up a joint survey of the area, fix boundaries of the forest and initiate appropriate measures to conserve it. The local people should be involved in the meeting, , he said.

Mr. Kumaraswamy also urged the government to convert the monoculture plantations developed by the Department of Forest in Malnad region into natural forests. It was a wrong move by the Department of Forest to develop monoculture plantations of acacia and eucalyptus under the afforestation programmes.

The monoculture plantations were less in bio-diversity. The conflict between human beings and animals had increased in Malnad region owing to monoculture plantations, he said.

He urged the Union government not to accept the recommendations of T.S.R. Subramanian panel to overhaul the laws related to environment and forest conservation. The panel had prepared a report on this issue without consulting the farmers and the tribal people. With the objective of serving the interests of the corporate sector, the panel had recommended setting up of fast-track environmental clearance for power, mining and infrastructure upgrading projects.

On the controversial Yettinahole Integrated Drinking Water Project, he said, in the name of providing drinking water to the parched districts of south Karnataka, the project was being implemented by flouting the laws related to environment and forest, he said.

B.B. Hosetti, chairman of the Department of Applied Zoology in Kuvempu University, in his address said, the urban local bodies should provide proper training for rag pickers and involve them in the solid waste management.

Ecologist Shankar Sharma said, as Karnataka did not have coal mines, it was unscientific to establish thermal power plants here. It was a known fact that burning of coal was the main reason for global warming. It was essential to make optimum use of the renewable sources of energy to prevent global warming, he said.

S. Nanda Kumar, Chief Environment Officer of KSPCB, said that the board was conducting consultation meetings throughout the State to collect the views of general public on climate change. Director of National Education Society P. Narayan, principal of Jawaharlal Nehru College of Engineering Srinivas Rao Kunte were present.



‘The land on which Kaanu forest is located belongs to Revenue Department’

Establishment of monoculture plantations described as a wrong move


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