Act tough against violation of forest laws: HC to State

Act tough against violation of forest laws: HC to State

Act tough against violation of forest laws: HC to State

The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday directed the State government to act tough against violations of the Forest Conservation Act and to clear any encroachment or unauthorised construction on the forest land.

  A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice S K Mukherjee and Justice B V Nagarathna, taking a suo motu cognizance of reports published in Deccan Herald and another English daily about a wildlife warden building a resort inside protected forests of Bhadra in Chikkamagaluru district, issued these directions to the State. The bench passed an order to recover the forest land.

The forest department had filed an FIR against Satish Gowda DS, a honorary wildlife warden of the Bhadra Protected Forest, for constructing a resort at a cost of Rs two crore in a flagrant violation of forest and wildlife acts. Gowda owned seven acres of land in survey number 216 in Sirivase village, which is adjacent to Bhadra and Masagali protected forests.

The report says that Gowda has been constructing a huge building on 0.75 acre of land which is situated between Bhadra Protected Forest and Masagali Reserve Forest, without obtaining any permission/no-objection certificate from the Forest department or the district administration. Gowda has not obtained permission for change in land use (land conversion), but secured building licence from the gram panchayat for constructing a farmhouse on the agricultural land.

Gowda has been constructing the resort in violation of several sections of the Karnataka Forest Act, 1963, Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, Forest Conservation Act, 1980.

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