High Court seeks details on saw mill notification

High Court seeks details on  saw mill notification

The High Court on Wednesday directed the State government to seek instructions regarding the status of the notification issued by the Department of Ecology and Environment to set up saw mills.

The Kodagu-based Coorg Wildlife Society had moved the High Court, challenging the notification dated May 20, 2013, which has laid down the rules for setting up saw mills across the State.

The notification, an amendment to Rule 163 of Karnataka Forest Rules, says that any person who wants to set up a saw mill has to obtain a licence from the authority concerned and that the mills should be established within an aerial distance of 10 km of the reserve forests.

Ravindra Kamath, counsel for the petitioners, said that this notification would lead to large-scale misuse. Timber smuggling was bound to increase and wildlife would be in danger if saw mills were permitted in the vicinity, he said.

Noting that pollution would shoot up in the nearby municipal areas, if these mills were established, the counsel pointed out that only persons with vested interests would be benefited by this notification.

Advocate General Ravivarma Kumar, who appeared before the court, submitted that he would get instructions from the government in this regard. The division bench comprising acting Chief Justice S K Mukherjee and Justice B V Nagarathna granted the required time and adjourned the matter.

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