Environmentalists want rocky areas to be declared ecological parks

Environmentalists want rocky areas to be declared ecological parks

A group of 40 environmental scientists are mulling over recommending the State Government to declare rocky areas in the State as ‘Ecological Parks’.

Delivering a talk on ‘Water is the product of forest’ as part of ninth conservation speak organised by Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, popular as Mysore Zoo, in the city, on Tuesday, A N Yellappa Reddy, former secretary of forests and environmentalist, said, it is imperative to conserve rocky areas in the State from B R Hills in Chamarajanagar district to Hampi in Bellary district as they are also considered as ‘oldest granite rock system’.
Similarly, at Chitradurga and Holenarsipura. Moreover, they are called as ‘rocky mountain forests’.

Referring to recent Uttarakhand natural calamity, that has claimed many lives leaving behind a trail of destruction, Yellappa Reddy said, “the natural fury in the State could be owed to the destruction of natural resources.”

In our own Karnataka, nature’s fury in north Karnataka in the year 2009 has left behind a similar story. Yet, conservation of environment assumes least significance in political party manifestos, he said.

Yellappa Reddy said, “Herbs like magadi beru (used in preparing pickles) and sogade beru, grown on rocky surfaces, play a bigger role in the conservation of environment, by facilitating percolation of rain water. He called them as ‘intact natural forest’ that are ‘most reliable dynamic hydro-bio-systems’.

If quarrying is allowed in such rocky areas, ecology will be disturbed. However, nature is being manipulated according to the people’s whims and fancy.

Taking all these factors into consideration, Yellappa Reddy said he and a group of 40 scientists from the Geological Survey of India (GSI) and Ecological Survey of India (ESI) recently visited Ramanagar, dotted with rocky areas, where illegal quarrying has reached its peak.

Similarly, Yellappa Reddy termed trees as mini dams, which trap water immensely, contributing to the ecosystem. Whenever there is a decision involving trees, in the name of development, cutting trees should be the last option, he stressed.

Kempegowda’s efforts gone in no time

Making a mockery of successive governments that boast conferring awards in the name of erstwhile ruler of Bangalore Kempegowda, A N Yellappa Reddy said, “The efforts of the late ruler in building 4,000 tanks in the then Bangalore and surrounding areas has gone in vain”. Yellappa Reddy said, earlier there were nearly three to four tanks in every villages around the State capital. Some areas like Malleshwaram and Basavanagudi were receiving abundant water. In the later days, most water sources were exploited, making water a mirage in the city.

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