Belthangady: In order to spread awareness on the importance of trees in the ecosystem, the Karnataka Forest Department has decided to establish a park in every taluk named “Salumarada Thimmakka Tree Park”, which is named after a prominent environmentalist and Padma Shree awardee Salumarada Thimmakka.
One such park has come up at the borders of the Belthangady taluk in Kallagudde, which is spread across 25 acres and is ready for inauguration.
This project was sanctioned during the tenure of former state forest minister Ramanath Rai and the construction work began in March 2018.
This project has also been implemented in Bengre (Mangaluru), Kursugudde (Bantwal) and Birumale Hills (Puttur). The one in Puttur has already been inaugurated.
The park, which comprises a main entrance, walking track, kids' play area, toilets, waste management system, two overhead water tanks (5000 litre capacity) and other infrastructural facilities have been built at an estimated cost of Rs 59 lakhs.
It is also made eco-friendly as the park has been declared ‘plastic-free’. Tourists and visitors who wish to bring in food and water bottles will have to pay a fixed fee and upon leaving, they will have to handover all the plastic items, after which the amount will be refunded.
Information boards on different species of plants, animals and forest resources will be made available.
In around 10 hectares of land, 25 different varieties of plants found on the Western Ghat forests have been planted. These plants will help in feeding the animals that are in the forests. In order to keep the peacocks, deer and a few other animals which are endangered, will not be allowed to come in contact with humans. For this, a 1.6 km stretch fencing has been installed and within that, a walking track has been constructed.
MLA Harish Poonja said, “We lack the funds to develop the park. We have already requested Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL) and the government to release additional funds. Our intention is to provide a world class park for the visitors and tourists.”
Belthangady Zonal Forest Officer B Subbaiah Naik said, “The park which is built amidst the lush green forest, will attract visitors. In terms of tourism, this will help generate more revenue. It is very important that the public makes use of this park, keeping in mind that it is public property.”
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