'Govt will not allow resorts in forest areas'

'Govt will not allow resorts in forest areas'

However, he reiterated that the Unesco heritage tag would come in the way of development of the Western Ghats.

Speaking to reporters in the City, the Minister said that deputy commissioners would be directed not to allow opening of resorts in the ecologically sensitive areas and those who defy the order would have to face action.

He said he would visit the ten sites of the Western Ghats which the Centre has recommended for the Unesco tag. “We will interact with elected representatives and senior citizens to elicit their views. The government is not in a position to accept the heritage tag as it will hinder developments. Except getting recognition at the international level, there is no other use to improve the sites,” he said.

The Revenue Department has decided to hand over about 55,000 acres forest land to the forest department. A sum of Rs 13 crore would be spent to plant saplings all along the State highways. The PWD will plant saplings along the national highways. The chief minister will launch a series of  afforestation schemes on July 20 including Devavana project in Chamundi
Hills area, tree park programme in Cubbon Park besides encouraging schools and students to nurture trees, the minister said.

Vijayashankar said about two crore saplings will be planted in the current year. These include sandalwood saplings too. The beneficiaries will get a passbook each.

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