Udupi: The implementation of the K Kasturirangan Report on Conservation of Western Ghats will affect a large number of people living in the Malenadu region of Chikkamagaluru district and Udupi district, opined Malenadu Hitharakshana Vedike.
Addressing a press meet at Udupi Press Club here on Friday, April 12, Kalkuli Vittal Hegde, President of Malenadu Hitharanksana Vedike said that the committee on Government Assurance in the Rajya Sabha had stated that Gujarat, Goa, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka governments had been passive in restricting activities in the 56,000 sq. km of ecologically sensitive areas (ESA) in the Western Ghats.
The massive monsoon floods in Kerala and Kodagu in 2018 were a warning to the state governments to take immediate steps to demarcate the ESA in the Western Ghats, he said adding that nearly 1.37 lakh acres of forests had been declared as deemed forests in Chikkamagaluru district. Both these measures posed a threat to people living in the forests in these areas, he said.
Hegde also said that no development work could be taken up in a 10 km radius of Kudremukh National Park. Since Kudremukh National Park encompasses areas in Sringere, Karkala, Horanadu, Belthangady and other places, the people here will be affected.
The Kudremuk Wildlife Division had objected to the widening of the national highway connecting Chikkamagaluru to the coastal region by four feet pointing at various forest protection laws. But this was leading to many road accidents, he said.
The people of Malenadu had to suffer due to projects such as national park, reserve forests, herbal forest, biodiversity park, Project Tiger, ESA and other many other projects conceived by environmentalists living in foreign countries.
"Shobha Karandlaje Udupi-Chickmagaluru MP, for the past 5 years, had not attended meetings of these matters in New Delhi nor did she listen to the grievances of the people of her constituency. She must at least listen to our grievances at least now", he said.
Secretary Mariyappa, Suresh Bhat, Venkatesh, Manisheelar, Nazeer and others were present during the press meet.
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