Drop 55 villages in Kodagu dist from ESZ list: Subbaiah

Former MLC accuses greens of availing foreign funds for protesting against 400 kV high-tension wire

Former MLC A K Subbaiah has urged the government to drop 55 villages in Kodagu district, from the list of eco sensitive zone (ESZ) identified by the Kasturirangan committee report on conservation of Western Ghats. 

Speaking to mediapersons here on Saturday, he said villages where people reside and forest in private land should not be included in the eco sensitive zone.  The committee has identified areas surrounding Western Ghats as eco sensitive zone.

The recommendations has prohibited mining, opening of hospitals and use of chemical fertilisers in agriculture in the eco sensitive zones. If the recommendations are implemented, then people will be in trouble, he said. 

The report has mentioned naturally grown forest as natural landscapes and forest inside the coffee estates as cultural landscapes. The two region should be clearly identified and cultural landscapes should be dropped from the list of eco sensitive zone. “The Kerala State government has already submitted a report to the Central government and has received exemption for cultural landscape from the list of eco sensitive zone.

Similar method should be followed by the Karnataka state government. The ministry of environment and forest has already issued a draft notification on the Kasturirangan report. The state government’s were given 60 days time to submit their opinion on the report. The state government should argue in favour of its people,”former MLC said.

The report will affect six districts including that of Kodagu in the State. Western Ghats stretches 1,600 km in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarath. The committee was constituted to conserve the bio diversity of the Western Ghats. The report has identified 59,950 square km as eco sensitive zone. This includes 1,550 villages in Karnataka.

Foreign funds

Subbaiah accused a few environmentalists who have been staging protest   against the 400 kv high-tension wire from Mysore-Kozhikode of collecting foreign funds. 

“A few organisations had staged protest against union government when the decision to set up Kudankulam nuclear power plant was taken up.  The Power Grid Corporation of India is laying the high-tension wire to supply electricity to four South Indian states.

By staging protest against the pro-people project, the environmentalists are following anti-people policies. I am surprised to the fact that MLA K S Puttanaiah has supported the environmentalists. Knowing the true colours of environmentalists in Kodagu, not many residents are supporting the protest in the district. Hence farmers from Mandya, Mysore and Tamil Nadu are invited to Kodagu to stage a protest,” he said

Subbaiah has challenged Jaffer Sharief to make it clear on his contribution towards his community. To a query on Sharief contesting from Mysore-Kodagu constituency as a JD(S) candidate, he said “Sharief did not utter a word when there was rift between Hindus and Muslims. He had not visited riot affected areas and consoled the victims. He had not even condemned Godhra carnage. In such a scenario, how can he be a minority leader?” he asked.

The Congress has issued ticket to Rizwan, a youth leader to contest from Bangalore South constituency. Instead of working towards the victory of his own community leader, Sharief has turned his face towards JD(S),” he said.  

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