Wildlife Board Okays Community Conservation Reserves
BANGALORE: The State Board for Wildlife has cleared the formation of a three-community conservation reserve and has agreed to declare Rangayana Durga near Davangere as a wildlife sanctuary.
The board, which met in the city on Wednesday under the aegis of Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa, has also given its consent for construction of residential quarters for lower-level staff on the fringes of wildlife sanctuaries.
Yeddyurappa also gave his consent to extend Rs 1 lakh ex-gratia for temporary staff retiring as forest watchers and guards, as they were deprived of other retirment benefits. This would be drawn from the Tiger Foundation fund.
However, the decision to declare Kapathgudda and Chincholi as wildlife sanctuaries was deferred.
FOREST OFFICIALS TAKEN TO TASK: The forest department officials came under fire by the chief minister when some MLAs had opposed the proposal to form community conservation reserves at Aghanashini, Bedthi and Dandeli Hornbill. The MLAs mistook the proposal as formation of sanctuaries and felt that people would not be allowed entry into the areas.
However, ex-officio members of the board came to the rescue of the officials and explained to the chief minister that gram panchayats in the areas surrounding these reserves would join hands with the forest department to protect teh region. This initiative was different from the formation of sanctuaries. Following this, the proposal was given the green signal.
RANGAYYANA DURGA: A go-ahead was also given to the setting up of a windmill in the Rangayana Durga wildlif sanctuary. The region has a rich antelope population. Hence, the windmill project was being opposed by forest secretaryNagaraj Hamphole and the locals. However, officials said that the opposition was politically motivated, and the project was cleared.
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