Forest dept eyes 500-acre land donation near Bandipur

Last Updated : 09 August 2015, 19:25 IST
Last Updated : 09 August 2015, 19:25 IST

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Extending wildlife corridors and adding more land to fragmented forest areas is one of the ways of reducing man-animal conflict. The Forest Department has been able to convey this to corporate companies, individuals and non-government organisations, some of which have now come forward to purchase and donate land to increase the forest cover.

“Many corporate firms, trusts, NGOs and people have shown interest in helping us by donating around 500 acres to enhance the fragmented  Kanyanpura corridor between Bandipur Tiger Reserve and Tamil Nadu,” Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Vinay Luthra told Deccan Herald.

According to him, connecting wildlife corridors is an important but time-consuming exercise.

“We have been struggling for years to increase the land and connectivity. In some places, the corridors are narrow. For example, the Kanyanpura corridor. Some people have shown interest to help us there.

“We are in talks with some companies and hope that at least three to four of them would get on board,” he explained.

Corporate aid
“Companies are doing this as a part of their corporate social responsibility initiative.” But he made it clear that it would take up to three months for the whole process to complete.
The Kanyanpura corridor near Bandipur in Chamarajanagar district is a fragmented forest stretch surrounded by private green patches and agricultural land, where incidents man-animal conflict have occurred.

On why is the department seeking corporate help, Luthra said that with the limited funds allocated to it, extending the forest corridors would take decades.

“The department gets just Rs 1,500 crore a year. It’s not just about buying any land and giving to us for extending the corridor,” Luthra said.

“We have identified the land we need, with the help of maps. Landowners are coming forward to part with their land for monetary benefits.”

Not the first time
This is not the first such initiative. In January, 2010, the Wildlife Trust of India had transferred the ownership of 25 acres of its land in Chamarajanagar district to the Forest Department.

This was done to strengthen the Kollegal corridor which connects Kollegal forest to the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary.

In the last few years, the department has struggled to acquire green patches near Kodagu to reduce man-animal conflict as that’s a fragmented forest patch.

It held talks with corporate companies and landowners, but things are yet to materialise. But it hopes of quick positive results in the case of the Kanyanpura corridor.

Published 09 August 2015, 19:25 IST

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