Forest department move irks Siddapura villagers

A view of the gate that prevents vehicular movement in Shedimane reserve forest road near Siddapura.

The forest road was providing connectivity between Shedimane, Bomane and Naloor Melsunka of Shimoga district. It was a connecting road to Naloor from time immemorial. In the past, bullock carts were used for providing the connectivity.

As the road passes through 3 km in ghats and the remaining on a level road, the farmers were using bullock cart to travel to Naloor, Megarahalli. Many were carrying grains on their head on this road.

Realising the importance of an alternative road to Agumbe, the government decided to upgrade Shedimane-Bolmane Melsanka road 20 years ago. In fact, gravel was dumped on the road for asphaltation. However, as the forest department objected the move, the work on laying the road was halted. However, eight years ago when Agumbe Ghat caved in, once again people started talking about the alternative road. A departmental survey was also carried out.

As soon as the survey was carried out, the forest department installed iron gates at Gagalibailu, Jaddina Gadde Kodlimane, Someshwara Dulli and stopped the movement of any traffic.

With the ban on the movement of vehicles, hundreds of residents from Bolmane, Jaddinagadde, Kelasunka in Amasebailu Gram Panchayat limits have lost their connectivity to Hebri, Someshwara.

They are forced to spend money for reaching Amasebailu.  Madamakki Gram Panchayat President Udaykumar Shetty had several times asked Sadana Samithi to open the gate and allow the movement of traffic, but his pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

Hebri Wildlife division Officer Lohith Kumar said “it is true that the gate has caused inconvenience to the public. However, if the gate is opened, then all the private vehicles will ply on the road and will affect wild animals. It may also lead to illegal transportation of wooden logs. The higher authorities must issue a letter to open the gate as per Wild life protection Act. The opening of the gate is not in our hands.”

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