CHITRADURGA : Jogimatti reserve forest in Chitradurga district has got the tag of a Wildlife Sanctuary.
An official declaration in this regard will be made by the Ministry of Environment and Forests shortly.
Minister For Forest, Ecology and Environment B Ramanath Rai told ‘Express’ over phone that the process in this regard was completed recently and a notification would be issued soon.
CCF (Ballari region) R Gokul Raju said: “Karnataka State Board for Wildlife headed by the Chief Minister has cleared the proposal by the Forest Department to declare Jogimatti as a Wildlife Sanctuary and in a week’s time all the formalities will be completed.”
“After getting clearance from the Board, we are going to publish a draft notification officially declaring Jogimatti as sanctuary and the environment lovers of Chitradurga will get the good news before the new year,” he added. He also assured of improving the green cover in the forest area, which will help improve the wildlife, flora and fauna.
With the declaration of the sanctuary, there will be a blanket ban on all other activities, mainly on installation of windmills.
Wind Turbines Damage Green Cover
Three years back, the Forest Department drafted a proposal demanding the state government to declare the area as a ‘Wildlife Reserve’ to protect the wild animals, birds and plants with medicinal value from activities like installation of wind turbines for power generation.
Spread across 10,048 hectares in Chitradurga, Hiriyur and Holalkere, Jogimatti reserve forest area play a crucial role in protecting the rare animals, including leopards and sloth bear that are on the verge of extinction, and the plants with medicinal value. Till 50s, the forest was also known for its tiger population. Once declared as a sanctuary, there will be free movement of animals and birds.
Ooty of Central Karnataka
Amidst prevailing heat wave and perennial drought, the green cover prevailing at the edge of the city has created a climate that resembles Ooty. Hence, the region is also called as ‘OOty of Central Karnataka’. Presence of heavy breeze, snowfall and greenery are attracting the people from far away places. It is understood that the forest got its name from a saint called ‘Jogi’, who was known for his social services, and a natural cave that houses a Shiva Linga and idols of Veerbhadra and Basavanna.
Another major attraction of the forest area is the water falls ‘Himavad Kedara’ that attracts many tourists to the area. Apart from all these, there is a century old Travelers Bungalow and a mini zoo at Aadu Malleshwara (Adavi Malleshwara).
The move by the government will help protect the forest.
KNow Jogimatti reserve forest
Hosts a century-old Travellers Bungalow constructed by the Britishes in 1905
Popularly known as the Ooty of Central Karnataka
The forest is 3,400 metres above sea level
Has got valuable plants like Sandalwood, teak and others
Leopard, blackbuck, sloth bear and a host of birds, mainly peacock and peahen, are present