Encroachers volunteer to vacate forest land

'Sacred grove extends upto 13,371 acres in Kodagu'

There is a good news for the forest department who have been striving hard to clear the encroached forest land.

Villagers who had encroached Subraya sacred grove in Korangala village of Bhagamandala hobli have voluntarily decided to vacate the encroached land and have submitted a letter to the Forest department in this regard.

Behind Subramanya temple on survey number 106, there is sacred grove stretching 59.34 acre. Six persons who had encroached 8.70 acre land have decided to vacate voluntarily.

N S Bojappa (two acre), N J Somanna (1.5 acre) N N Kalappa (1.50 acre), J S Subraya (two acre), B N Lokanath (1.5 acre) and N N Jnanashekar’s (.20 acre) land has been handed over to the forest department.

In a meeting held in front of Nangaru Ainmane, the villagers handed over a letter to the ACF. By looking at the development, T B Somappa (.50 acre) and K D Seetha (two acre) who had encroached Ayyappa sacred grove at Sannapulikotu have also decided to vacate the land.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, J S Subraya said, “our ancestors had encroached land belonging to sacred grove with or without the knowledge. We were cultivating coffee and cardamom. The forest officials brought the issue of encroachment to our notice. In this background, we have decided to vacate the land. We want to conserve forest.”

The sacred grove extends upto 13,371 acres in Kodagu district. A few acre land has been encroached. There is no exact statistics on the encroachment.

However, we could identify the encroached land, said ACF C Shashi. “We are trying to convince the villagers to vacate the encroached land on their own. Basavanna Devara Bana Samithi had issued a notice through lawyer urging to vacate the encroached land at Valnoor-Thyagathur Basavanna Sacred Grove.

In this regard, we have written a letter to all the sacred grove committees seeking details and have asked to vacate the encroachers. If the encroachers fail to vacate voluntarily, then we have to clear the land legally,” he said.  

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