Forest dept steps up vigil on BNP’s peripheral areas

Forest department officials around the Bannerghatta National Park have stepped up their vigil to prevent illegal activities like quarrying, mining, vehicular movement and encroachment of forest land. DH FILE PHOTO

Forest department officials around the Bannerghatta National Park (BNP) have stepped up their vigil of the wooded patch to prevent illegal activities like quarrying, mining, vehicular movement and encroachment of forest land.

The department has tightened its vigil following permission granted by the High Court of Karnataka to 15 mining firms for quarrying and stone crushing closer to the park's eco- sensitive zone.

The forest and mines and geology departments have closed down these companies and many others as they stood on the BNP's buffer zone, besides violating mining rules.

"We always kept vigil and have tightened it now," said a senior forest official. "We are cautious since we don't want any more illegal quarries around the forest patch."

The forest department also does not want the closed companies to resume their illegal operations, the official added. The good monsoon rain has also filled up the abandoned quarry sites, making them water storage units for local people and animals alike, the official said.

Several road projects proposed in its vicinity are also putting pressure on the fragmented forest patch, in addition to the pressure from several housing projects.

The forest department is also in continuous talks with the mines and geology department to maintain a check on the quarrying sites and stone-crushing units. It also sought help from local police officials to strengthen their vigil on the movement of trucks and illegal activities.

"The movement of trucks through the forest near Raggihalli and Shivanahalli villages was curtailed. But now it started increasing since the mines are open. The Bannerghatta National Park is ideal to house the increasing tiger population in Karnataka, but these activities will only make things dangerous," the official said.

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Forest dept steps up vigil on BNP’s peripheral areas

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