ESZ: Cong, BJP start blame game

Congress feels the project is detrimental; BJP disagrees to that

While Ecologic Sensitive Zone (ESZ) has been hanging like a sword over Kodagu district, the Congress and the BJP are busy playing the blame game.

Addressing a news conference on Thursday, District Congress president B T Pradeep has said that it is BJP Government, which is trying its level best to bring ESZ in Kodagu district and Western Ghats Task Force president Ananth Hegade Ashisara’s statements only strengthen the doubts.

“Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda recently admitted that barring naxal hit areas of Kudremukh and Bhadra Reserve Forest, rest of the forest regions will be given for Tiger Conservation purpose. ESZ, Elephant Corridor, Tiger Conservation Project, all of these projects are detrimental for the existence of the people of this district,” he said and added that the Kodavas are rejoicing over the solution to  Jamma Bane row and are hence not able to see the consequences of these dangerous projects. He further said that MP H Vishwanath has not been invited for the Centre’s Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Project.

In response,  BJP spokesperson Manu Muthappa said that there is no need to take Western Ghat Task Force president Ananth Hegade Ashisara’s statements on ESZ seriously.

Addressing a news conference on Thursday, Muthappa said the State will not implement any programme, which will be devastating to the district. “The Minister for Forest has already told that all decisions pertaining to the district will be taken only after discussing with the local MLAs. People need not panic over any issue,” he said adding that in 2003, a proposal for Ecologic Sensitive Zone was sent to the Centre by former chief minister S M Krishna.

“BJP has started a war against this project and has sent the resolutions taken by local organisations, GPs and ZP to the Centre. Responding to the resolution, Central Ministry for Environment has said that the proposal will be implemented,” he informed.

With regard to Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Project, he said that since State is also putting its share of fund in the Project, it is wrong to say that it is only Centre’s project.

“The Rural Electrification Project was brought to the State during Yeddyurappa’s rule and not during SM Krishna or Dharam Singh’s tenure,” he said.

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