'Devt works' threat to wildlife

Minor Irrigation Department commenced works without obtaining clearances

'Devt works' threat to wildlife

The Forest Department, which has the responsibility of protecting the region, is keeping their mouth shut about the work. The then MLA K M Krishnamoorthy, who expired recently, had commenced the work of road construction to Amrith Mahal Kaval.
 Later, considering the public opinion, the road construction work was stopped and initiatives were taken to preserve the environment.

Bhadra Wildlife Protection Trust Activist D V Girish alleged that the Minor Irrigation Department has destroyed the environment in the region. “They have started the works citing the mistaken statements made by Western Ghat Task Force Chairman Anantha Hegde Ashisara,” he added.

Unscientific works
Construction work on tank was progressing in the regin for the past 75 days. However, the Minor Irrigation Department neither have any documents nor obtained necessary clearances. Wild Cat-C Organisation Activist Sridev Hulikere alleged that the Forest Department, which has the responsibility of protecting black bucks in the region as well as the Amrith Mahal Kaval environment, is showing scant regard to the issue.

Work nearing completion
The work of 570 meter-long tank is nearing completion. More than 200 trees have already been cut to construct channel. Large chasms have been formed at many places in the region as soil was removed unscientfically. Such chasms may cause threat to wild animals. As a result of ongoing development works, birds find it difficult to nest in the region.

“Environmentalists question authorities on the impact of unscientific development works on the ecology frequently. However, the Minor Irrigation Department refuses to answer their queries,” said environmentalist Viresh.

“Bislere tank, which is situated only about 100 meters away from the new proposed tank, can cater the irrigation demands of the villagers in the region. Still the Department has taken up the work of a new tank unnecessarily,” said herpetologist Amitha Bangre.
State Wildlife Board Member Girijashankar said that Basur centre should be protected since it is a biodiversity spot, which houses several rare species of animals and birds.
Villagers lament that the government, which is implementing many schemes to protect Kavals and cattles in the State, has given its nod to undertake unscientific development works. Environmentalists demand that MLA Dr Y C Vishwanath, Deputy Commissioner Channappa Gowda and Deputy Forest Conservator Venkatesh should intervene and take a decision soon. They also warned that they will have to approach the court if their demands were not met.

‘Work without permission’
Kadur Zonal Forest Conservator Nizamuddin said that the Minor Irrigation had started the work without obtaining permission from the Animal Husbandry Department.    “I was thinking that it was a minor repair works. I had issued direction to stop the works immediately, as soon as I got to know the nature of work. They stopped the work after a JCB machine was seized last week,” he added.

Meanwhile, Western Ghat Task Force Member Gajendra Gorasukudige said that Chairman Anantha Hegde Ashisara had directed the officials to undertake forestation, rainwater harvesting and other essential works. However, officials have misinterpreted Ashisara’s directions. The matter will be brought to the notice of the Task Force, he said adding that the Amrith Mahal Kaval will be protected at any cost.
DH News Service

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