Mysuru: Wildlife activists are concerned about increasing construction activities near Bandipur National Park in Gundlupet taluk, Chamarajanagar district in the name of temporary structures.
Recently, Bandipur Tiger Reserve was declared to have the first highest number of tigers in Karnataka and second in India and increase in number of elephants. However, more than celebrating the moment, this increase in number of tigers and elephants has worried wildlife activists, because some of the celebrities are building houses with solar fence compound, which is not a good trend in view of conservation activities.
Popular Sandalwood actor Golden Star Ganesh, whose original name is Ganesh Kishan has bought one acre and 24 guntas of land at survey number 105 of Jakkalli that borders Bandipur, coming under Hangala hobli, Gundlupet taluk. This area is a part of Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ).
Ganesh had submitted an application in his original name, bearing the address No 63, Idea Hotel, Rajarajeshwari Nagar, Bengaluru, seeking permission to build a house for living and compound wall for horticulture purpose.
A meeting of Monitoring Committee of Bandipur Tiger Reserve’s Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ) was conducted under the chairmanship of Regional Commissioner, Mysuru, at the reception centre of Bandipur on September 16, 2022.
The permission was granted on the application of Ganesh, by laying down eight conditions to be followed and any violation of which and upon the finding of any documents as false, the permission will be withdrawn without any notice, according to Conservator of Forest and Field Director, Project Tiger also the Member Secretary of Monitoring Committee.
During the meeting, Regional Commissioner has cited Supreme Court order dated June 3, 2022 that states ‘No new permanent structure shall be permitted to come up for whatsoever purpose within the ESZ stand and we cannot give any permission for any new structure to the applicant.’
Hence the permission will be granted for temporary structure for own use and the building plan should be submitted before construction and give an undertaking that it will be not used for any commercial activities, the Regional Commissioner has stated, according to the documents in possession of www.mysoorunews.com.
The construction work has already begun on the site, with concrete pillars being erected, that has not gone down well with some of the activists who allege that it seems like a permanent structure that is being built at the place.
Wildlife activist Joseph Hoover also the former member of Karnataka State Wildlife Board has expressed his disappointment, pointing out that forest department is granting permission to celebrities, while being strict with the farmers by restricting them in the name of conservation. This doesn’t augur well, as such structures will come in the way of regular movement of wild animals.
Similarly the wildlife activists who speak on the condition of anonymity express concern about how the shrinking habitat size is forcing wild animals to stray out of forest and raid villages in search of food, leading to man-animal conflict.