Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category
Thursday, March 1st, 2012
An alternative road away from the forests, in place of the 10-km stretch of road passing through the Rajiv Gandhi National Park (Nagarahole) will be constructed by the PWD shortly, said PWD Southern Zone Chief Engineer Sadashiva Reddy Patil.
Speaking to Star of Mysore here yesterday, Patil said that since the plying of vehicles during the nights on the 10-km stretch of the Mysore-Manan-davadi road passing through Nagarahole is restricted, an alternative road is being constructed for smooth vehicular traffic. As such, a road is being constructed from Dammanakatte to Udbur Gate at an estimated cost of Rs. 18 crore, he said.
The estimate for the project has been approved by the Finance Department and is under consideration by the State Cabinet, he said.
The Finance Department has given its approval for the development of Hunsur-Gonikoppal-Kodagu road at a cost of Rs. 28 crore, of which Rs. 17.58 cr. has been released under the Hunsur Division and Rs. 11 crore under the Madikeri Division, he said.
“All the potholes on State Highways have been filled and they are now 100 per cent potholes-free, said Patil and added that 95 per cent potholes in district highways have been filled.” he said.
Zonal Superintendent Venkatesh and Biligiriranga Swamy of Hunsur Division were present.
Thursday, March 1st, 2012
The CEC(Central Empowered Committee) constituted by the Supreme Court for looking into the 2008 case pertaining to a illegal road formed in the Pushpagiri Reserve Forest, has asked the Supreme Court to take action against Virajpet MLA & current Speaker of Karantaka Assembly, Mr. K.G Bopaiah, the Madikeri MLA, Mr. M.P. Appachu Ranjan; the ex-MLC, Mr. S.G. Medappa, and the then Kodagu Deputy Commissioner, Mr. M.K. Baladevakrishna, and Conservator of Forests, Mr. G.A. Sudarshan for willfully violating provisions of the forest and wildlife acts and its orders pertaining to these laws within wildlife sanctuaries in the state.
The story so far;
- On December 28,2008, the accused ignoring legal warnings and a stay order from supreme court, swoop down at Pushpagiri Reserve Forest with a posse of policemen and villagers and start construction of the road. The then DCF(Deputy Conservator of Forests) of Madikeri, Anil Kumar Rathan rushes to the spot with forest officials to stop the construction and gets into an argument with the accused. The DCF and his officials are warned by the accused not to interfere.
- Air Marshal(Retd) Cariappa takes the matter to the court. The Supreme Court constitutes the CEC to look into the matter. CEC issues notice to all the accused asking them to appear before the Supreme Court.
- Meanwhile, disciplinary action is taken against the then Conservator of Forests G.A. Sudharshan in another case of tree felling in a reserve forest during his tenure and he is suspended by the Govt, later re-instated.
- The DCF Mr. Anil Kumar Rathan is suddenly transferred out of Coorg. Allegedly at the behest of the accused.
- CEC visit Coorg to inspect the location. The accused tell the CEC that the disputed land belongs to one “Saroja”. CEC officials are offered royal treatment by district administration.
- Circa 2012. CEC submits the report, indicting the accused and asks the Supreme Court for stern intervention against them.
Saturday, November 19th, 2011
The State Govt plan to mitigate the man-elephant by trans-locating the elephants from Coorg & Hassan to the forests near Bangalore has been turned down by the High Court. The high court said;
“Animals should live in their natural habitat and it is up to humans to adjust. ”
The Govt has been instructed to seek advise from experts in India & Africa before they plan for such an exercise.
The past decade has seen a drastic rise in man-elephant conflict in Hassan & Coorg. Elephants entering farms and plantations has been a common sight in many parts of Coorg. Encroachment by humans of reserve forest, pysari land and revenue forest near their villages, which the elephants had been foraging for long, has only escalated the conflict.
According to the last census 260 elephants were counted in Virajpet circle and 245 in Madikeri. Nagarhole National Park had a maximum of 792 elephants and a minimum of 443 elephants with a mean population of 617 elephants.
Thursday, November 10th, 2011
Read in TOI that Kodagu ZP “has passed a resolution and sent it to the ministry opposing the creation of zones around Nagarahole National Park”. Even the Gundlupet MLA, under whose writ the Bandipur National Park falls has written to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, against the proposal which the govt is planning to enforce.
Both say the “villagers will face hardships” if the zone comes into place.
What is all this eco-sensitive zones about ?
There are 2 kinds of Zone, Zone I & Zone II which are being created around the buffer zone of the National Parks.
- Zone I – No mining, factories, resorts, saw mills and felling of trees on private lands in the zone, plus no widening roads, drilling borewells, night movement of vehicles and use of plastics.
- Zone II – No Resorts at all. Total Ban on contruction of resorts, no dumping of waste in water sources and rivers passing through this area.
To me it seems a very novel idea to fix the man-animal conflict that has been troubling coorg lately. But the ZP thinks otherwise. There is nothing that says agriculture will be banned in the zones. But still ZP is crying foul. Knew about the timer lobby in existence in Coorg, time to welcome the “Mining” & ”Tourism Lobby” ?
Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
Wednesday, November 9th, 2011
According to a Report in IBN, the Tigeress which has been prowling south coorg and having a ball with the livestock around has struck back again by bringing down a cow, dragging it for 10 meters and gorging on 10 kg of meat.
Interesting to note is that the Forest Department had set up a cage-trap for her, which she visited and gave a friendly pat to the bait(lucky goat) and left. As if to mock the one’s trying to bag her.
Tuesday, November 8th, 2011
Wild Animals moving out of the national parks have become quite a feature in Coorg lately. This time a tigeress which has moved out of Nagarhole National Park has set a record of sorts – she has bagged 25 tame and household animals in the past fifteen days. The “poor” planter who is already braving the assault of the elephants on his crop is now more worried about his livestock. Humans in distress make more sense to many, than giving it a good thought why this phenomenon is being witnessed in Coorg lately.
There is no land left for the animals to be precise. Their is hardly any forest cover left around the Reserve Forest or National Parks, due to encroachment, expansion of the the money spinning “caffeine” plantations. Even the Devarakads(Gods own abode) have been encroached by the devils around.
And the icining on the cake of woes(man-animal conflict) is that Kodagu Zilla Panchayat now is opposed to the ” eco-sensitive zone proposed around Nagarahole National Park fearing an impact on livelihoods among other “concerns”.
The animals are angry…. they thunder… ” this is land of our ajja’s also”.
Wednesday, August 24th, 2011
Yesterday the Bangalore Police arrested 2 poachers with tiger bones and parts of other animals. One of the accused has told the police that the tiger was poached in Dubare Reserve Forest. The forest officials are also suspecting the bones to be from Dubare or Nagarhole in Coorg. The poachers have been arrested and a case filed in the Bharatinagar Police Station.
Monday, August 22nd, 2011
The Karnataka Forest Department seems to have lost the Lokayukta report indicting and recommending action against G.A. Sudarshan, the Conservator of Forests(presently serving Shimoga), for his involvement in letting the timber mafia chop down trees in the Western Ghats forests in Kodagu in return for a bribe back in 2007. In a apparent move to buy more time instead of taking action against the Conservator of Forests, they have asked the Lokayukta to send a new copy to them.
Following the disclosure, G.A. Sudarshan was suspended in 2007, only to be reinstated and brought back to Kodagu at the best of the BJP ex-President Sandanada Gowda. But when things got to heat up after Air Marshal K C Cariappa filing a petition on the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court’s Central Empowerment Committee taking note, he was transferred out of Coorg.
A committee headed by Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests in a report had submitted that the officer was solely responsible for felling 3,750 trees in virgin, evergreen and semi-evergreen forests and granted permissions to widen roads in forest areas violating Forest (Conservation) Act 1980.
The Virajpet MLA and Speaker, K.G.Bopaiah had even tried to pressurize the ex-cm B.S.Yeddyurappa to reinstate the tainted forest officer and that too – back to Coorg.
Sudarshan somehow got his job back and he is now conservator of forests (plans and survey), Shimoga.
The former Lokayukta cheif Justice Santosh Hegde has warned the forest department and told them that he knows how to deal with them.
Sunday, June 19th, 2011
Jairam Ramesh with U.S. Ambassador Roemer at a function displaying artwork provided by the Ranthambore School of Art. Image Courtesy: US Embassy, New Delhi.
Coming down heavily on Karnataka Government’s request to the Center for deletion of the 10 identified sites in Western Ghats, that come under the State of Karnataka, the Union Minister for forest, Jairam Ramesh told Deccan Herald that;
The Karnataka Government’s opposition to get Unesco heritage tag to the Western Ghats is giving wide scope to suspect that it is yielding to the pressure from vested interests like forest encroachers, mining, timber smugglers and poachers.
He also said that MoEF had first submitted its dossier on the Western Ghats for Unesco’s heritage status in March 2006 after getting the “approval” from the Karnataka government.
That seems to vindicate the stand of the environmentalists that they had nothing to do in proposal of Western Ghats for Heritage Tag. Some Political representatives and eminiment persons like A.K.Subbaiah & Nanda Subbaiah had been claiming for long that the environmentalists in Coorg are behind the move to notify certain areas in Coorg as World Heritage site.
The Union Minister also told Deccan Herald that the tag will not threaten human settlements, including tribal populations in the forest. He said “this is totally rubbish and concocted stories by vested interests people who have been looting forest wealth”.