Opposition likely for ESZ tag to 20 villages

Opposition likely for ESZ tag to 20 villages

Declare entire Kodagu eco-sensitive: wildlife forum

More than 20 villages of Kodagu are included in the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) list in the draft notification of the Central government, but the district is likely to see a strong opposition for the same.

The Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change issued a draft notification for the ESZ on February 28. Some villages, coming within the periphery of three sanctuaries in the district, have been included and the residents have expressed apprehension over the move affecting their day-to-day life.

The Coorg Wildlife Society, however, has been demanding that entire Kodagu be declared eco-sensitive.

The Centre had issued a notification on eco-sensitive zone in 2016 and directed the state government to provide a list. The state government had submitted the names of a few villages in the wildlife zone in Kodagu. The list submitted by the state government is likely to be finalised, which has been opposed by the farmers and tribal organisations.

Kumaralli, Kothanahalli, Soorlabbi, Hammiyala, Kalooru and Galibeedu in Pushpagiri wildlife sanctuary; Bhagamandala, Thannimani, Cherangala, Sannapulikot, Ayyangeri and Perooru in Talacauvery wildlife sanctuary and Rudraguppe, Begooru, Aisodlu, Badageri, Padakatageri, Peraje, Westnemmale, Kurchi, Arji, Manchalli and Kutta villages in Brahmagiri wildlife sanctuary have been included in the list for eco-sensitive zone. The exact boundary of the eco-sensitive zone would be known only after the final notification, said sources to DH.

Virajpet MLA K G Bopaiah said that the website of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has not published a draft notification on ESZ. “In case the villages in Kodagu are included in the list, then we will oppose it,” he stated.

Survey demanded
When the Centre issued a notification in 2016, 10,000 people from Kodagu had objected to it and demanded a survey. The draft is likely to be published based on a satellite image. The image will show the district green, but, in addition to the forest, it is the coffee estates and inhabited areas that are responsible for green cover.

After the final notification on ESZ, there would be restrictions on mining, quarrying, crushing unit, sawmill, polluting industries and setting up of thermal power plants. However, there would be no problem for habitation of the people, said forest officials.

Coorg Wildlife Society President Col (retd) C P Muthanna said that only a few villages have been included in the draft notification of ESZ. The entire district should have been declared as ESZ. There is a need to check activities on construction of resorts, homestays and layouts in the district, he said.