Mangalore, June 17 : Ramanatha Rai, minister for forest, ecology and environment and district-in-charge while addressing the press reporters in the “Meet the Press” programme organized by Dakshina Kannada working journalist’s union and Press club at the press club on June 17,Monday said in his address that when the government started planning about acquisition of agricultural lands in the reserved forest area, government had to face oppositions, protests and wraths from the people and in this regard appropriate decision would be taken soon, he said.
He also spoke about the overall developmental projects of the district. With regard to evacuation, we have been hearing allegations from all the quarters about the forceful encroachment of the land and after due discussion with government suitable decision will be taken, he added.
Netravati River diversion Project:
The proposed Netravati river diversion project has been approved by the erstwhile BJP government five years back to divert from Sakleshpura but due to some technical problems, idea of diversion has been dropped for the moment and is not in the present agenda, he clarified.
Hasan-Bantwal four lane road widening project:
Union government has already given its nod for the said project and one Japan government owned company has come forward to carry out the works and within five years of time tunnel works will also be completed, he added.
Task Force Project:
It has been decided to hold one special meeting under task force project to discuss overall developmental projects relating to districts.
Formation of forest committee:
Forest committee will be formed soon in each district and under forest rights act, already many have accorded power of rights.
Tribals from Eastern Ghats who have been living since three generations i.e. 70-75 years before, have already been given power of rights and remaining people will be given shortly, he clarified.
Also memorandum has been submitted to central government,requesting it to convert MCC into BMCC in view of getting more aid from the government, he said.
Rai, further said a Green Campaign “Hasiru Nanna Usiru” will be held in the district on June 25 and several ministers and leaders will be invited for the programme, which will hold deliberations on various issues pertaining to environment.
Continuing, the minister said that he has been in politics without any expectations and added he was satisfied with his political career.
Stating that conservation of forest is a must to maintain ecological balance and said that he intended to transform the Forest Department into a people friendly department.
On the problems faced by tribals residing in forest land as well as people who have encroached forest lands due to eviction moves, the minister said the issue need to be studied thoroughly before taking any concrete action.
On hydel power projects, the minister said he would support such projects only if they do not harm forests and wildlife.
He also promised to complete the construction of Rangamandir in Mangalore during the tenure of the Congress and recalled that the project was sanctioned during the erstwhile Congress rule.
Touching upon the moral policing issue, the Minister said it is the duty of the officials of the respective police stations to deal such incidents with a firm hand. He also warned of action by the Home Ministry against police officials failing in their duties.
DKWJU President P B Harish Rai welcomed the guest and gathering. Secretary Srinivas Indaje proposed vote of thanks.
The proposed new projects in nut shell:
- Hasiru-usiru Project
- Konaje-Melkar university road up gradation
- Mobile police station in Bantwal
- No evacuation in forest region for the time being
- Formation of Forest committee
- 400 KV electricity supply centre
- Formation of Rangamandir
- On June 25th state level officials meet
- Netravati River diversion project not in the present agenda
Photo Source: Sathish Kapikad