Green belt to protect coastline

 
The project will be first implemented in 24 coastal Gram Panchayats in Karwar, Honnavar, Kundapura and Mangalore forest divisions. Yeddyurappa said grants totalling Rs 19.81 crore would be released over the next five years for the project promoted by the Department of Forest and Environment and Western Ghats Task Force. The green belt will extend up to 250 metres from the sand zone. Local people, and members of the Village Forest Committees and Biodiversity Management Committees will be involved in the project.

Yeddyurappa urged the Department of Forests to utilise more funds from the grants allotted for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for afforestation programmes. The State can utilise Rs 2,000 crore under the scheme.

He said the task force can provide suggestions on restoration of the flood-affected areas of North Karnataka.Task Force Chairman Ananth Hegde Ashisar said the 298-km long coast line of Karnataka was facing multiple threats of sea erosion, population pressure, encroachment, unscientific urbanisation and developmental projects. The project also envisages restoration of mangrove and natural water drainage channels besides reclamation of water stagnation zones along highways, he said.

The CM also presented awards to Forest Range Officers Mohammed Mansar and N Narasimha Murthy, and Forest Guards Chandrakanth R Nayak, M R Satyanarayana Raju, and Babanagouda Patel. The awards have been jointly instituted by the Department of Forests and Environment and the Marappa Memorial Trust.

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