Ryots oppose elephant corridor

Ryots oppose elephant corridor

23,000 acres of land has been identified adjoining Bisile forest range

Picturesque: A view of Bisile Reserve Forest in Sakleshpur taluk, Hassan district. dh photo

Elephant corridors in Western Ghats has been conceived to protect and provide pachyderms fodder and drinking water and sufficient space so that they do not stray into adjoining villages.

Since there are plans for extending Bisile Reserve forest range, it may inevitably result in shifting of a few villages that are on the fringes.

Wild animals including tiger, leopard and elephants stray into villages and pose a threat to the lives and properties of those living there.

Deputy conservator of forests Ambadi Madhav told Deccan Herald that around 23,000 acres of land has been identified adjoining Bisile forest range.

A proposal has been sent to the government to transfer the lands from the revenue department to forest department as per the 1963 Forest Act.  

About 380 farmers, who possess agricultural lands, have submitted letters willing to return lands if given suitable compensation.

There is no such plans of grabbing lands of the farmers, he clarified.

Opposition

The forest department will include villages like Arani, Ethalla, Bisile, Hudunuru, Myagadahalli, Honnatlu, Hulugadde, Mavinuru, Nettigallu, Hanchatte, Mankanahalli, Boremane, Kurkmane, Jagata, Kaginahare, Balehalla, Battejumari, Anegundi and others to the reserve forest range. More than 400 families reside in these villages.

The residents here are growing cardamom, paddy, coffee and other crops amid problems and are also educating their children.

A majority of the farmers have not received title deeds for their lands from the government and they are residing on revenue lands. Though 23,000 acres of land belongs to the revenue department, 40 per cent of it are used for agricultural purposes.

400 could be displaced

If the authorities concerned conduct a survey of lands and give permission to transfer 23,000 acres to forest department without providing any compensation, more than 400 people would be displaced.

They have urged the government to drop the extension of forest land and drive away the hydel electric power project that is destroying the forest.

Since the villagers are fearing that the government is trying to relocate them, elected representatives or the officials should visit the village and clarify the matter, they added.

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