Forest dept to notify MoEF in bid to save green area in Machohalli

Forest dept to notify MoEF in bid to save green area in Machohalli

The state government's  decision to hand over 58.12 acres of prime forest land on the city's outskirts  to 36 religious institutions could get delayed as permission from the Centre would be required.  

Forest Department officials held a  detailed meeting on saving 96 acres of prime forest land on Tuesday, a day after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah announced that 58.12 acres of land in Machohalli will be given away.  

"At the meeting, heads of various sections of the department deliberated on how to save the forest land. It was then decided that the matter will be referred to the Ministry of Environment and Forests as all the 96 acres  are reserve forest, and the ministry's permission is mandatory  under the  Forest Conservation Act, 1980," a forest official told DH on the condition of anonymity.

Gazette notifications of 1960 and 1901 show that the 96-acre land in Machohalli is a forest patch. There are no documents either with revenue or forest department showing that it is gomala land or has been denotified. So, even today, the land is a forest patch and protected under the concurrent list, the official added.

Officials expressed hope that the MoEF would not clear the file. "As per procedures, the file will be referred to us (Karnataka Forest Department) for an opinion. This complete exercise will take not less than six months and by this time, the government's tenure will end and the file would also close," the official said.

Explaining the history, another forest official said that in the 1960s, the Revenue Department handed over 96 acres to an orphanage which was later returned to revenue officials when they learnt that the land was not converted from forest land.

Of the total 145 acres of reserve forest (connecting Magadi to Savandurga), 49 acres  are under litigation  before the  high court. Sixty people have encroached upon the land for industrial use. As per the Constitution, the state government has no ownership of the reserve forest and permission from the central government is mandatory  to change its status.  

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry