Central panel hears Karnataka on forest land for Yettinahole

The regional high powered committee of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests on Friday had a comprehensive look at the request of the forest department to permit  diversion of 13.93 ha of forest land near Sakaleshpur for the Yettinahole project.

The members of the committee held a meeting in Bengaluru where Yettinahole project chief engineer R Cheluvaraju, Sakaleshpur division superintendent engineer Seenappa and retired professor of IISc Prof Ramaprasad presented the State’s case.

The argument of the State was that districts in Bayaluseeme (dry land area) do not have drinking water source. “This is the precise reason as to why the Yettinahole project has been taken up. A minimum of 13.93 ha of forest land is required,” representatives of the State submitted.

The forest land utilised for the project would be compensated by developing forests in Hassan or Chitradurga district. The State has already made preparations in this regard, they explained. They also submitted a copy of the project details to the committee. It is learnt that the committee would pronounce its decision soon. It has power to give clearance for diversion of forest land to non-forest activities, up to 40 ha. Its  members also visited the forest land  required for the project.

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