Bengaluru: The state government's effort to give a fresh lease of life to the controversial Hubballi-Ankola railway project was stonewalled by the Karnataka State Wildlife Advisory Board, which met here on Wednesday.
When Chief Wildlife Warden moved the proposal, all the members opposed the project asserting that it was not only disastrous for the fragile eco-system in the Western Ghats, but would also be shot down by the National Board for Wildlife.
Eyebrows went up when the state government pushed the proposal, in which even the Railway department was not keen. The proposal, which was conceived in 1996, would mean diverting over 1470 acres of forest in the middle of a Tiger conservation area, which is also part of the elephant corridor. Even the National Tiger Conservation Authority had advised dropping of the project, as it would have necessitated cutting of over 22 lakh trees. When the proposal came up for discussion, all members opposed it and the matter was deferred.
The other decisions include creating a conservation reserve for the rare Leaf Nosed Bats, which are found near Hanumanahalli in Mulabagal taluk, Kolar district, including 15 sq kms of Muneshwara Reserve Forests in Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary and declaring Kama Samudra Wildlife Sanctuary at Malur in Kolar district and 40,000 acres at Bukka Pattana in Tumakuru district as a Wildlife Sanctuary....