Karnataka to launch statewide online booking for trekking routes by July

The minister said he has instructed the officials to take action against violations in the Coastal Regulation Zone in a time-bound manner.
Online booking will be introduced for all trekking routes in the state from July.
Online booking will be introduced for all trekking routes in the state from July.Photo | Express

MANGALURU: Karnataka Minister for Forest, Environment and Ecology Eshwar Khandre has said that online booking will be introduced for all trekking routes in the state from July third week in order to regulate the process. 

Speaking to reporters after a review meeting of Mangaluru circle of the Forest Department, Khandre said that the department has already introduced online booking for Kudremukh, Netravathi and other trekking peaks in Mangaluru circle and the same will be extended across the state.

A software, which provides online booking for all trekking spots in a single website, is being developed and it will be ready in a fortnight, the minister said. The new system is aimed at putting an end to irregularities in the booking system by streamlining the process, he said. Khandre said the Forest Department has set a target to plant 5 crore saplings in Karnataka this year and the work has already begun. Last year, 5.43 crore saplings were planted against the target of 5 crore. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has promised an additional grant of Rs 100 crore for this purpose, Khandre said.  

In Mangaluru circle, he said 26.5 lakh saplings were planted last year of which more than 90% survived. This year, in Mangaluru circle, over 12 lakh saplings have been raised in various nurseries and they will be planted by July-end. Also mangroves will be developed on 150 acres by planting 10 lakh saplings, he added.

The minister said he has instructed the officials to take action against violations in the Coastal Regulation Zone in a time-bound manner. Also, the encroachment of forest lands in the circle will be cleared at the earliest by vacating the court stays, he said.

Stating that the ban on single-use plastic in some places introduced last year was not effective despite seizure of plastic manufacturing units and other measures due to lack of awareness among people and staff shortage, Khandre said they will intensify this work on war-footing this time in order to protect the environment and wildlife.  

At the Environment Day celebration to be held at Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on July 3, the minister said 25-30 stalls will create awareness on e-waste, benefits of sewage treatment plants and how pollution will adversely affect the health. 

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