Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Central nod likely for hill station near tiger haven

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times With the Centre likely to regularise over 1,000 land deals in the Western Ghats, besides 10 resorts and 215 windmills that have come up in the ecologically sensitive zone, Maharashtra is all set to get another hill station — New Mahabaleshwar — near a recently created tiger reserve. The standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) has agreed to rationalise the boundary of the Koyna Wildlife Sanctuary, now a Sahyadri tiger reserve, subject to a decision of the Bombay HC and the SC-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC). According to a PIL filed by Nana Khamkar in the Bombay HC, rationalisation of boundaries was an attempt to regularise 215 windmills, 10 resorts and 1,200 land deals that had come up in violation of the Forest Conservation Act. “The state government allowed these structures to come up without waiting for rationalisation of the sanctuary boundaries,” it contended. An environment ministry official, however, defended the decision by saying that the state government will add six times the land removed from Koyna (about 100 sq km) to five different wildlife sanctuaries in the state. Moreover, the decision would be subject to a final view of the HC and the CEC, he added. Maharashtra had declared Koyna as a wildlife sanctuary in 1985. It comprised 230 sq km of forested area and 198 sq km of non-forested land. The state’s forest department conducted inspections between 1995 and 1998 to “delete” part of non-forested area from the ambit of the sanctuary. However, over the years, the government allowed windmills and resorts to come up without deleting them. In 2000, the apex court disallowed deletion of land from national parks and sanctuaries. Later, in 2004, the state – without getting the Centre’s nod – declared the development of the New Mahableshwar hill station and included 14 Koyna villages in it. In a few years, most of the land in the villages was sold illegally. In 2010, the state government declared the entire Koyna region as the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve. Though the Forest Conservation Act mandates that taking the opinion of the National Tiger Conservation Authority is mandatory before rationalising boundaries, it was not done. Environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan said she would take a call on the issue after “returning from Rio de Janeiro by June 28”.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests questions Additional DGP for entering the forest in Nagarhole

HM Aravind, TNN | Jun 26, 2012, 09.23PM IST MYSORE: The forest department officials took objection to a senior IPS officer's tour at the Nagarhole national park late in the evening on Monday leading to argument at the tiger reserve. Following a scheduled visit by the legislative committee on SC and ST welfare, ADGP (civil rights enforcement cell) K S N Chikkerur and PCCF (wildlife) Dipak Sarmah along with a host of officials were at H D Kote. But the visit of the panel was cancelled when the ADGP is accused of entering the tiger reserve's core area in D B Kuppe range without informing the forest department. As he came out of the core area at about 7.30 pm, he was questioned by the PCCF at Dammanakatte Gate, an official said. The argument of the forest officials was that the IPS officer has not kept them informed about entering the forest area in the national park. When contacted, Chikkerur said: Following a complaint, I'd visited Kaimara in the forested area. But since it was dark, I got back when I was questioned by the PCCF. I told him I was on official duty but still he questioned me leading to an argument. I told them I'll keep them informed from next time. According to him, the Wildlife Protection Act, 1976 the CRE cell staff above the rank of Sub-inspector can enter the national park on duty. Our concern is tribal rights and their well being. We are doing that, he shot back.

‘Reclaim encroached govt, revenue land’

Chikmagalur, Jun 26, 2012, DHNS: Prajaprabhuthva Ulisi Andolana Vedike Volunteer Suma Nagesh warned of approaching the court of law, if the authorities fail to reclaim the encroached government and revenue land, in the district. Speaking to presspersons here, she said the officials have details on those encroachers who have encroached within five acre. However, none have any details on the actual encroachment of the revenue and forest land. An attempt is being made to protect the interest of the rich who have encroached the government land, she alleged. According to the report submitted by the Karnataka Government Land Protection Task Force, a total of 9,43,268 acre land has been encroached in the district. This includes, 16,249 acre revenue land and 35,946 acre forest land. About 12.1 lakh acre land has been encroached in the state, of which, 47,000 acre has been reclaimed. As per the information available, about 388.19 acre forest land has been encroached in Mudigere taluk. The forest and revenue department has details on those who have encroached within five acre and not on those who have encroached a major chunk, she alleged. In Tarikere taluk, 14,919 acre has been encroached, in Sringeri—3,070 acre (3,357 individuals), Koppa—11,968.11 acre (2,900 families), Narasimharajapura—4,278.38 acre, Chikkagrahara—2,785 acre have been encroached. About 282.13 acre forest land has been encroached in Aldoor forest division. She said the officials should reclaim the land encroached by the rich and not by the tribals for livelihood. A memorandum has already been submitted to the President, senior officials, urging to reclaim the encroached land. The district administration should not delay the process of reclaiming the encroached revenue land. She said “we do not want Tiger project in Kudremukh National Park. We will oppose any attempt to evict those forest dwellers who have been residing inside Kudremukh National Park.”