By Green Minute News
In the Hessarghatta Grasslands issue, the Karnataka High Court has directed that the “Nature of the Land” should not be altered in any manner until further orders. The Court was hearing a public interest litigation challenging the Karnataka State Wildlife Board’s decision rejecting the proposal for formation of the Greater Hessarghatta Grasslands Conservation Reserve in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
According to Nikhil Kurgod, the petitioner’s advocate, the Court also directed to re-issue notices to respondents 2 (Wildlife Board) and 5 (Department of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries). The Court has also recorded the Karnataka State Wildlife Board meeting was not held in an appropriate manner as per norms.
In a PLI filed by Vijay Nishanth, Urban Conservationist, he had appealed to the Court to restrain the government from taking any further action and quash the January 19th decision of the State Wildlife Board on Greater Hessarghatta Grasslands Conservation Reserve despite most members favouring its formation. And further, reconvene the Board meeting so as to reconsider preservation of Hessarghatta grasslands, the petitioner stated.
Located in north west Bengaluru, the Hessarghatta Lakebed area and Grasslands is a rich repository of biodiversity that includes the Lesser Florican and the Indian Leopard. Stretching about 5010 acres, they form the most significant grassland ecosystem in this part of Karnataka and many research studies has established the need for its preservation.
The Chief Conservator of Forests, Bengaluru has clearly enunciated in his proposal for the formation of a Conservation Reserve how significant and important is this unique Grassland Ecosystem. This is the last remaining grasslands in Bengaluru region and is home 235 bird species, 400 insects, 100 species of butterflies while some new, rare and endangered species thrive in this ecosystem.