'Elected reps are creating rumours on panel report'

The NGOs did not play any role in drafting the report, say greens

Wildlife First office-bearers accused the elected representatives of Kodagu for creating rumours against Kasturirangan report on conservation of Western Ghats. Owing to the  rumours, fear has gripped the villagers in the district.

Addressing mediapersons here on Tuesday, Wildife First member M K Appachu said “we had asked those who oppose the report to furnish details on harmful recommendations.”

“However, none of them have furnished details. A few are engaged in creating  rumours. District-in-Charge Minister, Deputy Commissioner and Chief Conservator of Forest should provide clear cut picture on the recommendations.”

“We have been fighting for the cause of environment. However, a few are engaged in levelling allegations against us. There are no proof to prove the allegations. The truth will come out if probe is ordered into the allegations. Those who are levelling allegations are not demanding for a probe on foreign funds,” he said.

The Centre had constituted Kasturirangan committee to provide recommendations to conserve bio diversity in Western Ghats.

Accordingly, the Committee has submitted its report. The NGOs did not play any role in the drafting of the report.
 “We have taken part in pro-people movements in the past. Where were these elected representatives when we had fought for the people” he asked.

Appachu said: “If railway lines, national highway, Barapole hydel power project, high tension lines are implemented, then people will be evicted from their land. Eco sensitive zone, Unesco heritage site and buffer zone will not evict the residents. If the recommendations are translated to Kannada, then it will bring out the truth.”
“Hence, the elected representatives are not coming forward to translate the recommendations.”

Member Thammu Poovaiah said that if there are any harmful suggestions in the report, then bring it to the notice of the people and discuss it. Is it necessary to call for Kodagu district bandh or hold mega conventions? he asked. The convention is organised for political gain, he added.

On the other hand, Akhila Kodava Samaja President Mathanda Monnappa said that awareness will be created in all the villages on the harmful recommendations of Kasturirangan report.

 Thousands of villagers are expected to take part in the hakkothaya samavesha in Madikeri on January 2.

In a separate press meet, he said that efforts are on to get MLAs from 11 districts coming under Western Ghats limits. Assembly Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa will participate. “If Kasturirangan report, eco sensitive areas, buffer zones are announced, then the dwellers will be in distress. It is a conspiracy to evict the local residents.”
Gowda Samaja President Paikera Ananthram said that if the villages coming within 10 kilometre radius of the periphery of forest are declared as eco sensitive zones, then people will be in distress.

Bhagamandala resident Kudukuli Bharath said that the natural forest area should be declared as eco sensitive area. Baane land should be kept out of the purview of the forest. The government should not lay down any restrictions on the use of chemical pesticides.

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