Mixed response for ESA tag move in Kodagu

Mixed response for ESA tag move in Kodagu

Environmental organisations give thumbs up, citizens oppose govt notification

People from various walks of life have decried the move of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for issuing a draft notification declaring the Talacauvery sanctuary near Bhagamandala and Brahmagiri as an Ecologically Sensitive Area (ESA).

The villagers in Bhagamandala are getting ready to stage a huge protest rally against the notification on June 12. The Congress local members, meanwhile, have extended their support to the protest.

The draft notification on declaration of the Ecologically Sensitive Area was issued on May 15, while the notification on Brahmagiri was issued on June 1. The government has given 60 days’ time to file objections to the notification. Although environmental organisations have welcomed the move, citizens residing on the periphery of the forest are in distress.

‘Appeals sidelined’
Local leader Ramanath said, “The appeals of the residents of Tannimani, Cherangala, Ayyangeri, Sannapulikoti, Ballamavati and Perooru in Bhagamandala Gram Panchayat jurisdiction have been sidelined while announcing the area as an Ecologically Sensitive Area. The residents had filed their objections to the implementation of the Kasturirangan report on conservation of the Western Ghats, but the objections have been sidelined too.”

According to the officials, an area in the Talacauvery sanctuary of 16-kilometre radius of has been declared as ecologically sensitive.

Protective measure
“It has been decided to conserve rare fauna. Any commercial and mining activities in the area will be stopped. Mining, quarrying and crushing units, sawmills, polluting industries, hydro electricity projects, dairy farming and poultry on large scale can not be taken up in the region,” explained the officials.

An official also said that Talacauvery receives highest rainfall. The area has been has been declared ecologically sensitive to ensure that the natural features is not spoiled in future. The declaration of an Ecologically Sensitive Area will help in conserving Doddahole, Nidumale hole, Bettahole, Kundrahole, Mundrahole as well.

Residents of 14 villages including Arji, Nangala, Rudraguppe, Kuttandiya, Badaga, Begooru, Haisodluru, Badagakeri, Parakatageri, West Nammele, Teralu, Manchalli Kutta are worried about the declaration of the Talacauvery sanctuary as an Ecologically Sensitive Area.

Sunil from Bhagamandala said, “The Kasturirangan Varadi Virodhi Horata Samithi had convened a meeting in the past. MLAs K G Bopaiah, M P Appacchu Ranjan, MLC Veena Acchaiah, DCC president T P Ramesh, coffee grower Nanda Subbaiah and others had attended the meeting. It was decided to submit at least 10,000 objections against the declaration of the Ecologically Sensitive Area. In spite of the stiff opposition from the residents, a decision that is detrimental to the people residing on the periphery of the forest has been taken.”
DH News Service

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