Green Minute News

In an assurance that has brought cheers to activists and environmentalists spearheading the Bannerghatta ESZ issue, Union Environment, forests and climate change Minister Prakash Javadekar has said that the reduction in the eco sensitive zone (ESZ) of Bannerghatta National Park, the last remaining lung space of Bengaluru will be looked into.

Appealing for stringent measures and immediate action to retain the original ESZ, Tejasvi Surya, Bangalore South MP had written to the Minister expressing that the national park’s ESZ reduction had resulted in indiscriminate and illegal residential layouts, a bottling plant and commercial activity with concerned authorities failing to take any action.

The degraded patch of ESZ in Thammanayakanahalli village
The degraded patch of ESZ in Thammanayakanahalli village

The first time MP from Bengaluru voicing his serious concern said, “Environment around Bengaluru is of great importance as this green patch is very close to the city and moderates its climate. But the ESZ being reduced by 100 square kilometers and excluding 61 villages, it will open up more areas for mining, real estate and commercial development. In the original draft notification, the ESZ was 268 sq kms which would have acted as a cushion while later another ESZ notification in 2018, it was reduced to 168 sq kms.”

Even before the revised draft notification of 2018 could be finalized, all concerned departments including the state forest department have been totally inactive not taking any action against illegal activities despite  the 10 KM default ESZ prevailing. Surya stresses, “This has given rise to new residential layouts and industrial activities including a bottled water plant being taken up in the ESZ despite prohibition of such activities in this zone. Further, all kinds of illegal activities like quarrying, felling of trees and excavation work has commenced without the required sanction, permission for such activities  but where criminal intent cannot be ruled out.”

The Mining saga in ESZ
The Mining saga in ESZ

The reduction of ESZ is primarily in the areas north of Bannerghatta towards Kanakpura and Bengaluru where granite and stone mining and real estate sector is active. The revised draft has reduced the ESZ extent to a mere 100 meters (in these areas) while it is one kilometer in other places. There were massive public objections and the lodging of a petition against the reduction in ESZ area and extent. But with new developments which are illegal in the ESZ area, it merits the attention of the MoEF, the MP has stated.

Surya adds, “Despite 50,000 people including farmers raising their objections and the CES, Indian Institute of Science giving a report on ‘safe zone’ for the national park, all kinds of commercial and industrial activities have been allowed to be taken up here. BNP has great significance to Bengaluru as a lung space, and so for a city of great strategic importance to India, every effort should be made to ensure its protection.”

Comments (4)

  1. I congratulate our young m.p surya for his concern about environment and wildlife
    and I would like to give little information about B N P as per my knowledge concern earlier it is state forest by Thammanayakanahalli ragihalli&shivanhally earlier some parts of this forest was jodigrama
    hold by private owners later acquired by then government and later it declared as NATIONAL PARK
    sir in this park Only ELEPHANTS & WILDBORES are moving freely
    lion safari is totally fenced and Feeding with animal meat and also
    so many animals in cage only
    in1998 Karnataka govt issued a
    GOVERNMENT notification for protection it declares safety zone
    for a radious of one k.m from the forest boundary and almost 5kms from lion safari and animal cages
    in this zone there is govt land and private revenue lands also
    if safe zone extended further somay farmers holding lands
    will suffer a lot and they should sell their lands at very cheaper rate less then government price
    sir as a human being I will support to nature &animals but we should also live happly like others
    because of agriculture Former’a son I shouldn’t suffer

  2. Vishnu great work congratulations keep it up ? God is there and the new MP also go help your genuine cause and concern

  3. It is a very good move by Tejasvi Surya, to prevent lung space and greenery to Bangaloreans and also to prevent ecological imbalance in around Bannerghatta national park . In the above matter as a Member of parliament he has a power to take action against illegal layouts, industries & mining activities going on in around Bannerghatta eco zone by taking bold steps directing the concerned officials of revenue & forest department to take positive action against illegality going on in around eco zone of Bannerghatta national park and also the above matter as to be rised the in the house of parliament to notify villages which are green belt areas and falling within 10 Kms from the boundary of Bannerghatta national park boundary as to be notified as eco sensitive zones or eco fragile zones.

  4. So very reassuring to read this, especially after all these years of being reduced to mere spectators. Hopefully this will also put an end to the most unwanted 6 lane widening road between Anekal & Harohalli which sadly will complete the exclusion of Bannerghatta from rest of the wilderness. Let’s at least save what little is left

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