BR Hills likely to get tiger reserve status

ASI undertaking conservation work of 28 temples in State

BR Hills likely to get tiger reserve status

An earlier request by the State was rejected by the Project Tiger steering committee.

Replying to a question by S Pakkirappa (BJP) in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh said though the State Government had requested the Centre in December 2008 seeking tiger reserve status for the sanctuary, the State was advised to submit a detailed report on the ecological and landscape parameters.

The State Government had made a similar request to the Centre in 2005, but it was rejected by the steering committee of Project Tiger, citing that the sanctuary failed to fulfill the required criteria for the project tiger tag.

Replying to N Chaluvarayaswamy (JD-S), Minister of State for Planning V Narayanasamy informed the Lok Sabha that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was undertaking conservation work of 28 temples in Karnataka, costing around Rs 4 crore, during the current fiscal.

Some important temples, which are being conserved include the Hoysaleshwara temple in Halibedu, Harihareshwara temple at Harihara, Keshava temple at Somnathpura and the Jyothirlinga Temple at Aihole in Bagalkot.

The minister said the Centre had allotted Rs 8 lakh for the conservation of Sriranganatha Swamy Temple at Srirangapatna in Mandya district.

Owing to the increasing number of tourists, the ASI and the Karnataka Government had jointly revamped the basic infrastructure facilities. Besides, the ASI has taken up major conservation work such as resetting of the plumb, construction of “prakara” wall, landscaping around the monument and the provision of stone pavement drainage on the exterior of the prakara. The project is slated to be completed in the current financial year, Narayanasamy said.

Minister of State for Civil Aviation Praful Patel said in the Lok Sabha that no foreign airline had discontinued operations from Bangalore in the last two years.

Replying to Ananth Kumar (BJP), he said Air India was conducting operations from Bangalore to Singapore, Maldives, the UAE, and Oman, while Kingfisher Airlines was operating to Dubai. Besides, 14 foreign carriers, including Hong Kong’s Dragon Air, Oman Air, Tiger Airways and Saudi Arabian Airlines have introduced services to the Garden City. However Jet Airways has discontinued services to Brussles and Kingfisher Airlines to London and Colombo from Bangalore.

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