Joint survey to mark forest, revenue land

 In an effort to end the confusion over the ownership of large tracts of land, the State government has planned a joint survey to demarcate forest and revenue land, Forest Minister B Ramanatha Rai said on Thursday.

Briefing reporters, Rai said that the survey, being taken up by revenue and forest departments, will also help recover encroached forest land. 

The report findings will be placed before the Supreme Court, and the government will decide on the action based on the court orders, he said. 

Under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, there is a provision to regularise unauthorised cultivation of forest land by small and marginal farmers prior to 1978. 

Farmers who have been provided land grants (up to 10 acres) prior to 1980 will not be evicted, he added. 

Stating that a Cabinet sub-committee was studying and preparing a report demarcating eco-sensitive zones of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, Rai said that till the report is out, a 10-km zone around national parks would be considered buffer zone, and activities like mining will not be allowed.

He said the Nagarahole model of erecting elephant-proof fences to prevent man-animal conflict will be extended to other national parks. 

The government has set aside Rs 212 crore for the project and Rs 50 crore has been released. 

Man-animal conflict 

The move will curb man-animal conflict especially in Hassan, Chamarajanagar and Kodagu districts. 

Rai said that the entry gate of Mysore zoo would be redesigned as an entry plaza that can accommodate about 800 ticket buyers, besides providing separate gates for entry and exit. 

An amphitheatre to screen films and documentaries would also be built and completed by January next year, he added. 

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