Forest dept uproots trees in buffer zone in Kodagu

Large trees are being uprooted using an earthmover in the buffer zone in Kodagu.

Environmentalists have registered their protest against the Forest Department for felling trees in the wildlife zone near Anechowkuru check post on Hunahusu-Gonikoppa interstate highway. The state highway passes through the buffer zone of Nagarahole National Park. Gonikoppa-Piriyapattana state highway passes on the other side. The trees in the buffer zone, between the state highways were chopped using earth movers up to a distance of around 50 meters from the road, by the Forest Department.

The work is being carried out from a week. The grass, which was a source of food for herbivores is also being destroyed in the process. Trees and saplings were uprooted along a stretch of 11 km from Allur to Majjigehalla. Also, the land is being levelled on the six km long stretch from Anechowkuru check post to Booditittu, up to a distance of 20 metres from the roadside. Many trees on this stretch were more than 100 years old.

According to sources, the work is being carried out in the aftermath of the merger of Mavakal Reserve Forest of Periyapattana Forest Zone with Nagarahole Wildlife Zone. A decision regarding the same was passed two months ago. Hunsur wildlife zone officials said the trees were felled in order to construct fire line on both sides of the road, as there was a possibility of a fire breaking out during summer.

Environmentalist Pravin Bhargav said that the large scale felling of trees in Nagarahole buffer zone was a blatant violation of the Wildlife Conservation Act. The use of earthmovers in the buffer zone was also an unpardonable crime. Herbivorous like elephants, Bison and deers have lost their food in the form of grass grown in abundance in the region. In some places, the forest cover was destroyed up to a distance of 50 metres from the road.

Bhargav warned of intense protests against the Forest Department for carrying out such anti-environmental activities.

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