Plea to declare Kappatagudda as wildlife protected zone

Vrukshalaksha Andolana Karnataka has petitioned Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to declare Kappatagudda forest in Gadag district, a home to unique diversity of rare medicinal and aromatic plants, as wildlife protected zone.

Andolana chairman Ananth Hegde Ashisara said in a press release that a proposal submitted to the government in this regard has been recently modified, dropping three of the four blocks of the forest.

The blocks have been dropped due to pressure from vested interests. The chief minister should not yield to any pressure and take steps to protect the ecologically-sensitive area, he added.

Task force report

He said the State Wildlife Protection Board had in 2013 recommended to the government to declare the forest as the protected zone based on a report by the then task force for the protection of western ghats.

The task force had prepared the report after consulting the local people, religious leaders, educational institutions and elected representatives, Ashisara, who was heading the task force, he added.

Illegal activity

He said declaration as the protected zone under the Wildlife Act will enable the government to prevent encroachment and any illegal activity in the area. Moreover, it will ensure protection of flora and fauna at Kappatagudda, which is spread over 18,000 acres of land in Mundargi, Shirahatti and Gadag forest ranges.

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