BR Hills: 262 sqkm declared as eco-sensitive zone

With this, around 262.43 sqkm area, including 49 villages, of Chamarajanagar, Kollegal and Yelandur taluks, come under the eco-sensitive zone. The move will put brakes on more than 30 commercial activities like quarrying, crushing and hotel business in the zone.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has announced that an area, in a radius of 0.5 km to 6 km, around Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Tiger (BRT) Reserve in the district, has been declared as eco-sensitive zone. A gazette notification was issued on November 19 in this regard.

With this, around 262.43 sqkm area, including 49 villages, of Chamarajanagar, Kollegal and Yelandur taluks, come under the eco-sensitive zone. The move will put brakes on more than 30 commercial activities like quarrying, crushing and hotel business in the zone.

Hereafter, any activity which may affect the environment is banned. The notification says that importance should be given for rainwater harvesting, organic farming, environmental technology, green transport and cottage industries, which are eco-friendly. It states that the government should discuss with other departments and prepare a masterplan in the next two years.

The Union government has constituted a 13-member committee for conservation. However, there is no problem for dairy farming and any activity related to agriculture in the zone.

On January 24, 2011, 574.82 sqkm of Biligiri Ranganathaswamy temple was announced as Tiger Reserve. According to a survey, there are around 35 to 50 tigers in BRT.

There are 28 species of mammals, 274 species of birds, 14 species of amphibians, 23 species of reptiles, 1,350 species of trees, 145 species of butterflies, 886 herbs and 25 types of orchids here.

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