MYSURU: Deputy Commissioner C Shikha has cancelled the licences of a bar-and-restaurant and a wine shop at Kay Yess Resort, owned by a relative of Excise Minister Satish Jarkiholi and others at Nagarhole Tiger Reserve.
Y Annappa, the licensee, is the brother of Y Manjunath, former deputy commissioner of Excise. Manjunath is Jarkiholi’s brother-in-law. Annappa was granted two licences — CL-7 (bar with boarding) to run a bar-and-restaurant, and CL-2 (wine shop) to run a wine shop in Kadegadde village, 30 m from Bavali Gate on the Karnataka-Kerala border, which is within the Nagarhole reserve boundary.
On July 29, 2013, Express broke the story that the bar-and-restaurant was operating in the tiger reserve in violation of norms. Jarkiholi had denied allegations that he had favoured his brother-in-law to issue licences to Annappa.
Jagadish Nayak, Deputy Commissioner of Excise, said the licences were cancelled following three reports against the bar-and-restaurant from heads of various departments.
“Chief Conservator of Forests, Hunsur Division, and Nagarhole Tiger Reserve director R Gokul submitted a report as the bar-and-restaurant fell within the eco-sensitive zone of the tiger reserve.
“Superintendent of Police Abhinav Khare highlighted the Naxal activities in the region in his report. This apart, in my report, I highlighted that the resort was operating within 40 m of the state highway, as against the minimum of 220 m,” Nayak said.
He said he had seized the wine shop, and added that there is a provision to shift its licence within the district.
Chief Conservator of Forests R Gokul had issued summons to all the owners — K P Babu Senan, S Manjula, B Narayan, Mohan Gowda Ramadas and Annappa — seeking a reply by August 3, 2013, following an FIR filed on July 12, 2013. Later, the FIR was stayed by the High Court.
The Forest Department contended that opening a bar-and-restaurant in a tiger reserve was a serious offence as per the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The resort got permission from the then DC P S Vastrad, without a no-objection certificate from the department. The then Excise DC Manjunath renewed the licence despite the Forest Department’s objection.