Declare Chamundi Hills a biodiversity hotspot: Ashisar

Safeguard ecology of the area and improve its greenery with tree planting drives, suggests chairman of Karnataka State Biodiversity Board

Karnataka State Biodiversity Board Chairman Ananth Hegde Ashisar on Thursday suggested declaring Chamundi Hills a biodiversity hotspot.

The ecology of the hills needs to be safeguarded, improving its greenery with tree planting drives. The deputy commissioner and the officials from the Mysuru City Corporation and the Zilla Panchayat should join hands in making it possible, he said.

Speaking at the International Biodiversity Day event organised at the Zilla Panchayat here, Mr. Ashisar said the demand for saplings has gone up with the rise in green initiatives. “Give priority to planting saplings that are in demand. The trees that are in danger need to be protected and planting of such species should be taken up extensively,” he advised.

He said planting of tree saplings is underway in an extensive manner on the forest fringes of Chamarajanagar district. Such initiatives can be replicated in Mysuru district for expanding greenery and forest growth.

Mr. Ashisar said the Departments of Revenue and Forest have come up with a plan of developing urban forest by planting tree saplings in over 3,000 hectares. If this was implemented, the trees need protection and the authorities must consult on safeguarding the trees, making use of available schemes, he suggested.

Mr Ashisar also told the officials to lay emphasis on tree planting around the lakes in Mysuru for safeguarding their ecology besides restoring water bodies. The data on lakes in Mysuru should be compiled for taking up phased rejuvenation of dying lakes.

Earlier, progressive farmer M.P. Chandrashekar was felicitated on the occasion.

Deputy Commissioner Bagadi Gautham, Chief Conservator of Forest Hiralal, ZP CEO A.M. Yogesh, MCC Commissioner Lakshmikanth Reddy and others were present.

Mr .Ashisar’s suggestion has come at a time when fresh efforts are being made to bring a ropeway project to Chamundi Hills that has been vehemently opposed by the green activists.

Minister for Tourism C.P. Yogeshwar recently expressed his favour for bringing the cable car project to Chamundi Hills despite the strong opposition from various quarters. The stakeholders of the tourism industry were in favour of the project and had raised the proposal with the Minister during his recent visit to Mysuru. They were keeping the issue alive by taking up the issue before the successive governments.

Social activists, environmentalists and NGOs have been opposing the project arguing that it would harm the ecology and the beauty of the hills. They described the project as a misplaced priority of the government despite knowing the harm such infrastructure development projects would cause.

Chamundi Hill is increasingly turning into an urban jungle with many concrete structures including a multi-storeyed vehicle parking lot, road expansion works, and commercial kiosks coming up in the recent past.


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