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Citizens of 142 villages resolve to reject Kasturirangan report


28th November, Deccan Herald ,Bangalore

Chikkamagaluru:Nov 27, 2014,

A resolution towards the rejection of Kasturirangan report was accepted at a public grievance readdressal meeting here on Thursday.

The meeting was convened at Zilla Panchayat Hall to accept the grievances of people on Kasturirangan report on the ecologically sensitive areas (ESAs) of Western Ghats.
The people of 142 villages, which have been included in the report have opposed the report. People’s representatives and farmer leaders claimed that if the report is implemented, it will ruin the lives of people of Malnad area and urged the government to scrap the report.

When the officials who represented the state level experts committee were about to demonstrate the summary of the report, the farmer leaders and leaders of various pro people organisations stopped the officials and vented their anger against them. The people also urged to forward a proposal in front of the central government to scrap the report.
State level expert committee member and Additional Chief Conservator of Forests Raviraj said that the Kasturirangan committee has prepared the report, referring to satellite based statistics and pictures, towards the preservation of Western Ghats. The Central government has formed the committee to carry out a survey by visiting each and every village covered by the report. The opinions from the people will be kept before the government, he said.

MLA D N Jeevaraj said that the reservoirs of Malnad region, Kuvempu biological park, project tiger have used a large amount of the land in the district and people have become the victims.

If Kasturirangan report is implemented in this situation, the lives of people of Malnad will be ruined completely. The people will be no better than the stone age men, he said. MLAs C T Ravi, B B Ningaiah and MLC Gayatri Shantegowda also reflected the same opinion as of Jivaraj. 

They condemned the move of district administration of not gathering public opinion through Gram Sabhas. 

Forgetting party lines, all elected representatives opposed Kasturirangan report. They also urged the committee to send the resolution to the Central government saying that the report has been rejected. Karnataka Growers Association President warned of staging a dharna at the venue, if the resoultion on rejection of Kasturirangan report is not declared.

Deputy Commissioner B S Shekharappa declared that the resolution of rejecting Kasturirangan report has been accepted, based on the opinion of people and elected representatives.

State level committee members Chief Conservator of Forests Shashwati  Mishara and Additional Chief Conservator of Forests Raviraj listened to people’s grievances.
Zilla Panchayat President Bhagya Ranganath, Executive Officer Priyanka Mary Francis, Superintendent of Police R Chetan, district Deputy Conservator of Forests Manik were present.