Baasur Kaval, a safe abode for black bucks

Government bows down to pressure, changes route plan

The proposed Kedigere-Arehalli road, which was about to cut through Baasur Amruth Mahal Kaval has undergone changes in its initial plans.

Following intense protest and opposition from environmentalists and locals, the plan of the road has been changed. Now, the road will ply from Baasur gate to Bisilere via Baasur and Kedigere connectivity road will be surfaced to nine kilometres, without entering the Kaval area. The work as per changed plan was inaugurated on Friday.

Baasur Amruth Mahal Kaval has been the home for rare and endangered black bucks since several years. The Kaval is further considered as the natural habitat for reproduction of Amruth Mahal variety of cattle.

Apart from these special statuses, the Kaval is also known to be the home for several other animals and birds. In March, 2011, the State Government declared Baasur Amruth Mahal Kaval as black buck reserve forest.

However, a plan of building nine km road inside Amruth Mahal kaval affecting this unique habitat was planned by former MLA K M Krishnamurthy. This had fuelled lot of disappointment among environmentalists and various quarters of the society. After three years of struggle, finally the project plan has been changed to save the uniqueness of this Kaval.  

In 2008, National Rural Road Development Board approved the plan of laying nine km road from Kedigere-Arehalli at a cost of Rs 3.82 crore. But, this plan evoked widespread opposition.

Speaking to Deccan Herald MLC Y S V Datta said that all the changes have been accommodated keeping past objections in mind. Re-tendering process has been started.

Bisilere Gram Panchayat President Devaraj clarified that not even an inch of land from the Kaval will be given for the road.

 “Spot inspection will be done taking the blueprint given to us by the PMGSY Engineers. If it is found to be affecting the Kaval in any way, then the project will not be allowed,” said Range Forest Officer Sayyed Nizamuddin adding that the Forest Department has no objection to the alternate road planned as of now.

However, environmental activists D V Girish, Sridev Hulikere, G Veeresh and others have said that they will object even if the new road passes close to Amruth Mahal Kaval. “We feel that alternate road is the best option keeping in mind the safety and freedom of the wild animals. If not, then the death of wild animals after being run over by the vehicles will be common scene,” they said.

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