Make 50-year plan to protect Western Ghats: Bommai

Addressing the issue of eucalyptus plantation, CM said earlier eucalyptus was planted for use as raw material for the paper industry to garner profits.

Published: 26th June 2022 06:01 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th June 2022 06:01 AM   |  A+A-

CM Bommai with Umesh Katti, Revenue Minister R Ashoka, MP PC Mohan, and chairperson of KFDC Tara Anuradha, during the inaugu­ration of Suvarna Mahotsava at Vidhana Soudha | Express

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: To protect the Western Ghats, a biodiversity hotspot, CM Basavaraj Bommai, said: “We should have a vision document for its protection for the next 50 years and ensure strict forest provision for protection.”Speaking at the golden jubilee celebrations of the formation of Karnataka State Forest Development Corporation Limited (KFDC), he said that plans should be drawn up to increase forest cover from the existing 23 per cent to 30 per cent in the next five years. 

Addressing the issue of eucalyptus plantation, CM said earlier eucalyptus was planted for use as raw material for the paper industry to garner profits. To increase forest cover, alternative species for plantation should be though about, he said as studies on the impact of eucalyptus have found that it is not ideal. “Whenever there is forest degradation there are problems to human lives too, so a balance needs to be maintained. Keeping this in mind, Rs 100 crore has been given to KFDC which should be utilised for surveys and programme implementation. If utilised properly, another Rs 100 crore will be allocated,” he said.

He emphasised that government was willing to help but the forest department should also change their style of work. Efforts must be taken to increase forest cover especially in Hyderabad-Karnataka regions. To ensure there is no felling, more plantations sho­­­uld be undertake and restric­tions on growing should be eas­ed out, he said. Agro forestry is one of the methods to ensure forest and soil are protected, he added. 

CM on Saturday instructed forest department officials to be on the field for at least 15 days a month. He said senior officials including chief secretary, forest secretary and deputy conservator of forests should be on the ground.  He said senior officials are ensconced in Bengaluru. “You are not coming out of your offices. Go to the forests, stay for 15 days in a month. It will boost the morale of department personnel. It will send a message that senior officials are engaged in forest protection,” he said, adding that this will also help them to know the ground reality and hardships of staffers.


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