Rs 20 crore to reclaim elephant corridors

Environment and Ecology Department has received Rs 1609 crore.

Bengaluru: The state, which has seen rising man- elephant conflict of late, has set aside Rs 20 crore for re-establishing elephant corridors by buying property which have fragmented them, in forest areas. It plans to encourage NGOs, private trusts and forest user agencies to buy such private land and hand it over to the forest department. Announcing this on Friday, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said it was also planned to increase tree cover in the state with the planting of 5.50 crore saplings and distribution of another 2.50 crore saplings for planting on agricultural land, private properties and in school compounds.

The government has given the forest department Rs 5 crore for providing LPG connections to families living in sensitive areas of the Western Ghats and and wildlife reserve forests in Chamarajanagar and Uttara Kannada districts to curb axing of trees for firewood . In other schemes, it plans to establish a Sri D. Devaraj Urs Bidiruvana comprising bamboo forests and develop 150 acres of forest land near Hunsur under the Tree Park Scheme.

The Thimmalapura forest in Madhugiri taluk, Tumakuru district, declared a Bear Sanctuary by the Union government, will get necessary funds. Meanwhile, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board will carry out pilot projects using low cost solid waste management technologies that can be used by households in tier-II cities, the Chief Minister said. Despite the various announcements, the Forest, Environment and Ecology Department has received Rs 1609 crore, which is Rs 148 crore less than its allocation last year.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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