ZP members, MLA furious against forest dept officials

'They act as barriers for every development work in the district'

 The Kodagu Zilla Panchayat members came down heavily against the Forest department officials and alleged that they act as barriers for every development work in the district.

In the meeting which was chaired by District-in-Charge Minister K J George, they also demanded to stop giving salary to the forest department staff who blackmail in the name of Central government laws for everything.

MLA K G Bhopaiah alleged that the Forest department officials are not giving permission for 66 Kv power line between Madikeri and Virajpet. As a result, the work is still incomplete and people suffer without electricity.

The department officials have written letter that permission can’t be given as the region has been identified as UNESCO world heritage site. In fact, UNESCO has dropped the proposal of adding Kodagu in world heritage site list, but officials are misleading people, he said. In the letter, it is mentioned that there are wild animals in the region. Where are wild animals in Madikeri- Virajpet stretch, he questioned.

DFO Dhananjay said that the power line passes through 1.5 km of reserve forest and Central government says that no development work can be initiated in reserve forest. However, Minister K J George reminded the official that: “State government gives salary to the Forest department officials and they must give priority to solve the problems of the region.”

Zilla Panchayat Social Justice Committee President Raja Rao alleged that Forest department officials harass people to give forest rights. They are plucking the transplanted banana plants and chasing the people out of forest, he said.

Agriculture Standing Committee President Ballaranda Mani Uttappa alleged that Forest department officials are not allowing people to develop roads leading towards the colonies.

‘Land clearance can’t be stopped’

Minister K J George directed the Forest department officials to convince those who have encroached the forest land, which would help in smooth clearance of the land. He expressed hope that the farmers or industrialists who have encroached government land will clear the land without any resistance.

Earlier, Deputy Commissioner Anurag Tiwari said that the High Court has ordered to clear the encroached government land in the State in various districts including Kodagu. Cleared land will be given to the gram Panchayats. That land can be used to build houses to poor, as sites for ex-servicemen, to build schools, for police stations or for any other government offices, he said.

The Deputy Commissioner said that sand ban order will be retrieved in September when monsoon recedes. Stock yard formation and tender process will be started again. Meanwhile, the Minister directed the DC to continue the concession letter system for gun for Jamma cultivators, as before. 

Private bus stand

The meeting has decided to build the private bus stand in the identified Agricultural University ground in Madikeri. MLA K G Bhopaiah said that the land was sanctioned after much effort during former CM B S Yeddyurappa’s tenure. So, bus stand should be built there only. Everyone, including the Minister agreed to the demand.

General Thimmaiah museum

‘Sunny Side,’ the house where General K S Thimmaiah was born will be converted as a museum. An amount of Rs 7 lakh has been given to Transport department to handover the building to Kannada and culture department, said Deputy Director Mangala Nayak. MLA Appachu Ranjan demanded that the responsibility of construction of museum should not be given to any private organisation, but a committee should be formed in the leadership of DC.

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