Experts have put a lot of efforts to save Bannerghatta National Park. Despite of the efforts, a notice has been published on 12th March, 2020. This will allow the government to downsize the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) in the biological park by 100 square kilometre. Many activists are seeing it as a red flag, but Karnataka government has taken it as a green signal to reduce the eco-sensitive zone. It does not concerns the government as to how the politically driven decision will affect the wildlife?
Bannerghatta National Park News
Bannerghatta Biological Park has a total area of 268.96 sq kms and the government wants to reduce this to 169 sq km. Their intention is to extend the eco sensitive zone to a maximum of 4.5 km from 100m around the boundary.
Many experts have been fighting to preserve the original eco sensitive zone of the park as 268.96 sq kms. But, Union Environment Minister, Prakash Javadekar has accepted Karnataka Chief Minister, B.S. Yediyurappa’s suggestion to reduce the size of the park. It was clearly stated in the decision that development activities were being hampered.
The Fuming Reaction of Activists Over Eco-Sensitive Zone
Recent developments have got eco experts fuming over the decision. Bhanu Prakash R is the co-ordinator of Bannerghatta Nature Conservation Trust. He has written multiple letters to the State Government and Union Environment Ministry. He has explained about the ramifications that ecology will have, if the eco sensitive zone shrinks.
Even after the High Court’s order to set up a committee for the eco sensitive zone to monitor, the state government has not changed the opinion. This has led to uncontrolled land use in the region.
Regardless of many letters sent explaining facts and realities, the eco-sensitive zone will be reduced to favour land mining mafia. Bhanu Prakash R said, “The decision has been taken without considering any scientific study in this matter.”
Government Ignoring Eco-Initiatives & Supporting Land Mafias
Before the decision for eco sensitive zone came in, many farmers described that land mafias were constantly pressurising them to give away their lands at throwaway prices. Recently, BJP government inducted Anand Singh, the Minister of Forest. He was accused of 15 cases, including offenses under Karnataka Forest Act.
Vijay Nishanth, founder of Project Vruksha has criticised the government. He has remarked that the Karnataka government is clearly supporting the mining industries. Vijay Nishanth said, ” We might have to start looking at the legal options as the last resort”.