Structure comes under scanner

Girijana Kalyana Kendra takes up eco-tourism project in BRT Reserve Forest

Structure comes under scanner

VGKK is constructing the building to promote Wildlife Tourism in BRT Forest. Forest department has refused to give permission citing several reasons.

BRT Forest is home to rare species of animals which are at the risk of extinction. The Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) has confirmed the existence of 36 tigers at the BRT Forest. Incidently, the population of humans and animals is already on a rise in the forest putting pressure on the natural resources.
The forest and wildlife is already under pressure due to the arrival of devotees to Biligiri Ranganthaswamy Temple through out the year.

Added to this the tourists arriving at K Gudi Jungle Lodge and Resorts has further pressurised the wildlife. The Forest department had thus refused to give the permission to VGKK’s Wildlife Tourism.

No to tourism
Citing the problems, Chamarajanagar DCF had already written a letter to PCCF I B Srivatsa not to grant permission for tourism activity.

 Srivatsa in a letter dated 3 May 2008 to the Secretary of Department of Forest, Environment and Boi-diversity had explained the consequences of the granting permission to the tourism activity in the region.

VGKK Founder and Honourary Secretary Dr H Sudarshan on November 6, 2007 had sent a proposal to PCCF Srivatsa seeking permission to start Wildlife tourism.
Sudarshan had proposed setting up of community-based eco-tourism and had stated that native soliga youth would be employed for the purpose. Sudarshan had also sought forest department’s approval for safari and trekking in the region.
However, VGKK’s act of constructing structures beyond the wildlife tourism carrying capacity has attracted wide criticism.

Though, VGKK has been internationally recognised for his services to the soligas and in building tribal organisations and Sudarshan conferred with several awards, the decision on an NGO to promote tourism affordable to rich has caused concern among ordinary people.

Some express fears of other resorts mushrooming at forest if permission was granted to VGKK’s ambition.

Employment to youth
Defending the decision to start eco-tourism Sudarshan said that it was aimed at providing employment to local Soliga youth.
Chamarajanagar DCF Biswajit Mishra said that the land in which the VGKK is raising the structure comes under revenue and hence forest department can not take any action as it directly comes under the purview of Deputy Commissioner.
However, forest department will grant permission for starting Wildlife eco-friendly tourism.
DH News Service

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