The High Court on Thursday ordered issue of notice to the Energy Secretary and managing director, Chamundeshwari Electricity Supply Company in connection with the electrocution of an elephant at Alur in Hassan district.

Hearing a suo motu PIL on elephant deaths, the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice Aravind Kumar has directed the power authorities to be present before the Court.

Aims to unseat Maharashtra from second spot in country

The State would soon dislodge Maharashtra from the second spot in biofuel production in the country, by increasing its production to 200 million litres by this year end, said Y B Ramakrishna, executive chairman of Karnataka State Biofuel Development Board (KSBDB) on Thursday. Presently, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra occupy the top two slots.

River water to meet drinking water needs of Chikkaballapur, Tumkur

The State government on Friday finally gave administrative approval for the Yettinahole project that proposes to draw water from the Yettinahole River in Sakaleshpur to meet the drinking water demands of Chikkaballapur and Tumkur districts and some parts of Bangalore Urban. Briefing reporters after the Cabinet meeting, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Vishveshvara Hegde Kageri said the project proposes to harness 24 tmc ft from Yettinahole in Hassan district for the drought-prone regions of the three districts at a cost of Rs 8,323 crore.

Static water-level has gone down in seven borewells in the taluk

The depleting water table in Hassan taluk is a matter of great concern. The records of the Mines and Geology Department show that static water-level has gone down in borewells, identified for observation, in Hassan taluk. In the last year, the static water-level has gone down in seven borewells in Hassan taluk.

Heavy rush coupled with slow speed of computers at the taluk office to obtain land records, took a toll on the patience of thousands of farmers, who staged snap protests on Wednesday night and on Thursday morning on BM Road in Hassan.

Farmers demanded that the taluk office officials speed up issuance of the records despite the latter working round-the-clock to issue the land records. The farmers for the past few days had perched themselves near the counters - day and night - to avail land records essential to avail various facilities under ‘Suvarna Bhoomi’ scheme such as crop insurance, subsidised seeds and pesticides. The last date for the scheme is June 30.

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.

Development activities, human settlements narrowing pathways

Most of the elephant migratory corridors in the State are under threat, experts have found, even as the High Court’s June deadline for the government to submit a report on man-elephant conflict in Hassan and Kodagu is fast approaching.

Seeking a report on the mushrooming of resorts and other activities in the reserve forests in five districts of the State, the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) issued notice to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) in Bangalore on Thursday.

The CEC has instructed the PCCF to provide details about the resorts (including Jungle Lodges), restaurants and other activities in the reserve forest regions of Mandya, Mysore, Chamarajanagar, Madikeri and Hassan districts.

The High Court has directed the special task force - constituted by it to look into the man-elephant conflict and the proposed translocation of elephants from Hassan - to submit the report within three months.

During the hearing of a petition, when the Bench questioned about the delay in submitting the report, the State government said that the task force members were still studying the issue.