RTI REVELATION: Environmentalists Suspect The Figure May Be Much Higher

Agitation for cultivators’ right to land ownership yet to reach logical end

The death of Bagair Hukum cultivator Thimmaraju at Mekerahalli in Sira taluk of the district on Wednesday has rekindled the agitation in the Bagair Hukum farmers (those cultivating land sans legal ownership). Thimmaraju had consumed poison along with three other farmers who are demanding that they be given title deeds of the land they have been cultivating for over two decades now.

State delegation will soon meet Jayanthi Natarajan: Yogeshwar

Much against the wishes of the Karnataka State government, Union Minister for Environment and Forests (MoEF) Jayanthi Natarajan on Tuesday announced in Parliament that final approval had been accorded to declare Kudremukh National Park as a tiger reserve. The State government is against declaration of the Kuderamukh National Park as a tiger reserve, and heritage tag accorded to 10 sites of the Western Ghats. With the Union government’s final approval, the Kudremukh National Park has become the fifth tiger reserve in Karnataka and 41st in the country.

Buildings will affect lives of wild animals, say environmentalists

The environmental organisations have demanded cancellation of the permission granted to KSS hotel and a resort company to convert the land in Survey No 344 and 216 in Channagondanahalli in Vasthare. They have also urged to cancel the permission granted to Ravi Ramu to build a resort after converting 3.20 acres of land in Survey No 34 at Baganeheddal in Avathi hobli in Mallandur Gram Panchayat limits

Will two ministers be able to check it? ask public With the delay in introducing new sand mining policy in the district, the illegal sand filtering business on the banks of river, lake, streams are thriving day-by-day.

This surely does not require any proof because everyone is well aware of the ongoing sand mining in banks of almost every major river in the district. With the illegal sand mining being carried out unabated, the common man is finding it difficult to get sand at an affordable price to carry out the construction work.

In a development that may be considered a shot in the arm for environmentalists, the Additional Civil Judge (senior division) has ordered a permanent stop to iron ore mining at Kemmannugundi in the Chandradrona Hills of the Western Ghats.

Additional Civil Judge (senior division) Manjunath Nayak on Monday ordered a complete ban on mining and related activities, considering that the land is an eco-sensitive zone and located adjacent to the Bhadra Tiger Reserve.

The move will have impact on Bhadra Reserve Forest

The project of pumping water from Hebbe reservoir to Madagakere and 36 other lakes is fuelling the possibility of water crisis arising in Bhadra Reserve Forest area. Various environmental organisations, talking about this possibility have said that the Government has given its nod to the said project of Rs 140 crore wherein 1.45 TMC water will be utilised. Out of the said quantity 0.75 TMC water will be pumped to Madagakere while the remaining 0.70 TMC will be supplied to 36 lakes in the taluk.

The State Forest Department, in a bid to create assets and popularise the concept of sandalwood estates, will take up the exercise of planting around 10 lakh sandalwood saplings in around 10,000 acres of forest land across the State.

Addressing mediapersons here on Friday, Forest Minister C P Yogeeshwara said that 10 places - Kolar, Ramanagara, Bangalore, Mysore, Shimoga, Belgaum, Dharwad, Chikmagalur, Hassan, Tumkur and Bidar - had been identified for planting sandalwood saplings.

Implementation of the Prime Minister’s Rehabilitation Package for farmers in suicide-prone districts in the State has come a cropper.

The government has failed to spend allocations made for the payment of ex gratia amount to distressed families of farmers and distribution of certified seeds, according to an evaluation study. The study conducted by professors M J Bhende and P Thippaiah of the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore, has also noted that the government has disbursed the ex gratia amount to ‘rich farmers’ and not to the actual beneficiaries.

Task force is involving forest-dwellers and farmers to protect biodiversity

Ananth Hegde Ashisar, chairman of the Western Ghats Task Force, said on Monday that the task force was drawing farmers, forest-dwellers and students to join it in its drive to protect biodiversity in the Western Ghats.