Karkala: “The government’s stand on Yettinahole project is my stand,” said Ramanath Rai, Minister of Forest, Environment and Ecology. He was speaking to mediapersons on his visit to Karkala to attend the 61st Wildlife Week organized by the Department of Forests and Environment here, on October 1.
Former Home Minister V S Acharya had advocated the Yettinahole project and had said that the coastal region had no adverse effects from the project. 13 hectares of land will be used for the Yettinahole project, of which 12 hectares come under the deemed forest and 1 hectare belongs to the reserve forest. The environment department has issued a NOC for the project as it serves drinking water supply.
The Union Environment Department has issued a draft notification on the Kasturirangan Report. The recommendations of the state government have not been considered in the draft notification. The state government has decided to file objection to the draft notification. Restrictions have been imposed on sand mining by the central government, while the state government had clearly suggested to the central government to regulate sand mining and quarrying to meet local development needs.
The central government is misleading the people claiming that the report submitted by the state government had lapses. The state government has submitted a fair report keeping in mind the interest of the people. The Members of Parliament from the state have failed to take up the issue at the centre. The central government should stop passing the buck on the state government; instead, it should implement the suggestions, he added.
“The then BJP government headed by former CM Yeddyurappa had sent a proposal for the creation of a tiger reserve in Kudremukh which was then rejected by the UPA government. The NDA government soon after coming to power accorded the creation of the tiger reserve. The state government has taken a definite stand by not approving the creation of the tiger reserve. The BJP government then had put the onus on the UPA government at the centre for the creation of the tiger reserve, but why are they silent on the step taken by the NDA government? The BJP is known for politicizing problems faced by the people. The MP of Udupi Chikkamagaluru LS constituency, Shobha Karandlaje is advising the Congress government to reject the creation of tiger reserve in Kudremukh, while she must have advised former CM BS Yeddyurappa for proposing to the centre to create the tiger reserve.”
“The Kerala government had filed the Eco-Sensitive Area report two years ago. The state government of Karnataka has also filed a report by scientifically analyzing forest and non-forest areas. The Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa governments have not yet filed reports on ESA, but the report filed by Kerala government has been accepted, while the report by Karnataka government has been neglected. The central government wants the state government to suffer. We have an acknowledgement of filing the ESA report to the centre,” he said.
He further said that the deemed forest issue is settling down. The Supreme Court had directed the state government to conduct an effective survey and present the report on deemed forest. The Forest Department together with the Revenue department has conducted a joint survey on the deemed forest (forest and non-forest areas). More than 70,000 hectares of forest land will be restored after verification of forest and non-forest land.
Former MLA Gopal Bhandary, Karkala TMC President Rehmat Sheik and others were present.