BENGALURU: The plan to protect the grasslands of Hessarghatta by declaring it a conservation reserve was rejected by the State Board for Wild Life, citing commercial reasons. The state forest department along with the animal husbandry department had chalked out a proposal for declaring the 5,010 acre land area as “Greater Hesaraghatta Grassland Conservation Reserve” and placed it before the Board on Tuesday, but it was rejected.
On Monday, at the Bengaluru development meeting, the proposal was discussed where a senior IAS officer asked Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa not to go ahead with it. “The MLA of the region asked the Board not to accept the proposal as it was not discussed with him. Also the area was dropped from the list as it has high real estate value and the land can be used to carve out layouts or be used for commercial spaces,” a government source told Express.
The source added that the proposal was also dropped as land prices were high. The plan was chalked out in consultation with officials from all government departments, who had shown keen interest in the area, especially when otters were sighted in the Hessarghatta water body. The area proposed for conservation reserve was also important because of the location of Serum Institute of India and other institutes in its vicinity. The Hessarghatta grassland is home to a variety of flora and fauna and is rich in species diversity. Many birds migrate during winter.