Karnataka is facing a strange phenomenon: it's in the grip of a drought and floods at the same time. The floods have followed two successive years of drought.

Encroachment of forest land, deforestation and degradation are affecting the development of forest in the State, said Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Dipak Sarmah.

Despite undertaking plantation on nearly 80,000 hectares every year, there is only a minor increase in the forest cover in Karnataka, “In the last three years, wildlife forest has increased from 6,500 sq km to 9,200 sq km and the department is expecting to increase it further 10,000 sq km,” added Sarmah.

The Health department on Wednesday confirmed that two people had died in the last five months, till May 28, due to dengue.

Andhra Pradesh objects to Karnataka constructing the Paragodu barrage on a tributary of the Krishna river, but Karnataka denies violating any inter-State water-sharing agreement.

The Government’s flagship health insurance scheme for the poor has sharply reduced out-of-pocket expenditure in three States, says an evaluation by German enterprise GIZ and independent research bo

Minister for Energy Shobha Karandlaje has said that the power generation in the State will increase by 4,000 megawatts (MW) by the end of 2014.

The Minister was laying the foundation stone for the work of construction of 110 kV capacity power distribution station in Sanda industrial area near Shikaripur in Shimoga district on Friday. The Yaramaras thermal power project and the third unit of Bellary thermal power project were expected to become operational by the end of the year 2014. The State government was expecting significant contribution from wind power units, she said.

The Karnataka High Court on Monday directed the State government to immediately provide security to Veerendra Patil, an advocate hailing from Talaguppa village in Soraba taluk of Shimoga district, who had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) petition complaining about the encroachment of about 400 acres of forest land.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice Aravind Kumar issued oral direction in this regard when Mr. Patil moved an application complaining that encroachers had attacked his family members and had caused extensive damage to their property on August 5.

The government has declared seven more taluks as drought-hit in the State. With this, the total number of drought-hit taluks has gone up to 149. Deputy Chief Minister K S Eshwarappa told mediapersons here on Sunday that as many as 123 taluks were declared drought-hit in the first phase, followed by 19 more taluks in the second phase.

Now, Sagar, Sorab, Joida, Haliyal, Mundagod, Belgaum and Khanapur had been added to the list. On Union ministers Sharad Pawar and Jairam Ramesh’s visit to Bangalore to take stock of drought situation, Eshwarappa said: “They have failed to meet our demands and their apathy disappointed us.

In a bid to deal with the dipping water level in almost all reservoirs across the State, the government on Wednesday decided to release Rs 176 crore for drought and flood-related works. Rs one crore has been earmarked for each of the 123 drought-affected taluks.

Chief Minister Sadananda Gowda, as instructed by the party high command, held a meeting to review the prevailing drought situation. Surprisingly, his detractors Agriculture Minister Umesh Katti and Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai were present. Minor Irrigation Minister Govind Karjol too attended the meeting.

Project proposed in Kanakapur on a pilot basis. The generation of power from bamboo will be a reality soon if the Forest Department has its say.

Forest Minister C P Yogeeshwara told reporters on Tuesday that a proposal had been submitted to the government to take up the project on a pilot basis in Kanakapur taluk. Land in some parts of Kanakapura had become unfit for agriculture due to flow of sewerage water from Bangalore. Bamboo plantation can be taken up on such land and power can be generated by setting up gasifier plants, he said.