Kumble-led team inspects proposed site for steel plant

Kumble-led team inspects proposed site for steel plant

Greens worried factory may adversely affect Daroji bear sanctuary

The inspection comes in the backdrop of the concerns expressed by environmentalists with regard to the ill effects of the steel factory on the sanctuary which is spread over 13,000 acres, Kumble told reporters.

Sub-committee members Girija Shankar, Sanjay Gubbi, B K Singh, Chief Conservator of Forests of the wildlife division of the forest department and Swaminathan, Deputy Chief Conservator of Forests were part of the team.

The team members travelled in Kotaginahal, Gadiganur and Dharmasagara villages in Hospet taluk and Toranagallu in Sandur taluk.

The team members interacted with farmers of Kotaginahal village with regard to crop and rain pattern in the region, besides revenue from agriculture activities.

The steel factory is supposed to be set up on 5,000 acres of land in Hospet and Sandur taluks, adjacent to National Highway-63. The land acquisition process is already underway for the factory, that will be situated just two kilometres from the bear sanctuary.

Wildlife activists are worried that 150 bears, 200 different species of birds and other animals may be affected once the factory comes up at the proposed site.

Kumble said that it was mandatory to get the permission from the State and Central Wildlife Boards, before clearing projects to be set up near wildlife sanctuaries. B K Singh said that a report would be submitted after taking the opinion of all members of the sub-committee.

Wildlife activists have written to Union Minister for Environment and Forests, Jairam Ramesh, stating that permission should not be granted for mining within a radius of 10 km from the bear sanctuary, said to be the first and the biggest such sanctuary in Asia.
Setting up a steel plant would endanger the animal population in the sanctuary, the activists said in the letter to the minister.

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