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Friday, May 4, 2012

Shimoga villages want tiger project scrapped in KNP

May 4, 2012 DC Shimoga The people of Western Ghats residing in Tirthahalli and Hosanagar taluks are demanding cancellation of proposed Tiger Project in the Kudremukh National Park covering the Someshwara and Mookambika wildlife sanctuaries, as this would displace a large number of people, threaten their livelihoods and encourage Maoists activities in the region. Speaking to Deccan Chronicle Mr Nagesh Angirasa, a worker of the Someshwara and Mookambika wildlife area civic committee (sponsored by Sri Pejawar Mutt, Udupi) of Mallandur village near Agumbe of Tirthahalli taluk in the district here on Thursday said, that proposed tiger project will lead to eviction of people and socio-economic misery. Kudremukh National Park and its established area including the Someshwara and Mookambika wildlife sanctuaries, is spread over the four districts of Shimoga, Chikmagalur, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada. These regions are covered with thick green vegetation with rolling hilly grassland and shola forests. In 1987, the Karnataka government declared the region as the national park. As per the survey of 2005, the human population in the national park is around 6240 living in 1300 households and cultivating 2790 acres of land. According to him, soon after the declaration of Kudremukh National Park, the maoist extremists entered the scene and after a decade of existence in the region, spread their roots in the park. They encouraged the tribals to disbelieve the government by telling them that they would be forcibly evicted from the park . The maoist outfits ran a parallel government in the park villages and used to collect money from contractors, politicians and farmers. In the span of nine years, from 2002 to 2011, 23 incidents of encounters, looting, kidnapping and bomb explosion were recorded, the memorandum of the committee said. It was during 2009 and 2010, with the initiative of some development works and confidence building measures taken up in the area, distrust between the government and the habitants was minimized. Tiger Project would again create distrust among the tribals and pave way for the re-entry of Maoists, Mr Nagesh Angirasa said. The tiger conservation project is already in progress in the Bhadra wildlife sanctuary covering Shimoga and Chikmagalur districts. Instead of that, the government should make all efforts to declare the national park region under the UNESCO scheme. This would help in reviving social life in the region. A memorandum in this regard has been submitted to the Centre through the deputy commissioner of Shimoga, Mr M.V. Vedamurthy.

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