HC to govt: Declare Mullayyanagiri as protected reserve

HC to govt: Declare Mullayyanagiri as protected reserve

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Sridev Hulikere of Wildlife Conservation Action Team of Chikkamagaluru and three others, the division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice H T Narendra Prasad directed the state government to declare the mountain ranges from Mullayyanagiri to Seethalayyanagiri within the limits of Bhadra Tiger Reserve in Chikkamagaluru district as protected reserve within four months. (DH File Photo)

The Karnataka High Court on Saturday directed the state government to declare Mullayyanagiri — the tallest peak of Karnataka and Seethalayyanagiri in the same range, as protected reserve within four months.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Sridev Hulikere of Wildlife Conservation Action Team of Chikkamagaluru and three others, the division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice H T Narendra Prasad directed the state government to declare the mountain ranges from Mullayyanagiri to Seethalayyanagiri within the limits of Bhadra Tiger Reserve in Chikkamagaluru district as protected reserve within four months.

Advocates appearing on behalf of the state government submitted before the High Court that the government will not take up any road laying or widening work in the protected area. Counsel Jayna Kothari pleaded on behalf of the petitioners.

The height of prominent peaks in the Chandradrona mountain ranges of Chikkamagaluru, the elevation between Seethalayyanagiri and Mullayyanagiri - ranges from 5,000 feet to over 6,000 feet. The Shola forest — a unique form of the stunted tropical montane forest which is found above 2,000 feet from the sea level is unique to the region and has high water-retention capacity. The mountains are home to several endangered flora and fauna along the biodiversity-rich Western Ghats.