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23 September, 2007

Trees felled inside Devarayanadurga Reserve Forest for new power line

As you all know, recently there have been many trees that have been felled inside Devarayanadurga Reserve Forest along the Belaguba-Oordigere Road to lay a new power line to Navodaya School.

As we understand, the agency that lays a power line inside a reserve forest should meet the conditions under various forest and environmental Acts of our country.

Mallikarjun has already filed an RTI application with the Forest Department, Tumkur to find out if the forest department has imposed any such conditions on the agency that is laying the power line. To make sure that we get the correct information, I filed a similar application with the BESCOM (previously KEB) on 22 Sep '07 (Please see the RTI application at the end of thi email)

I over heard one of the official there saying Navodaya School is laying down the power line on its own and BESCOM has nothing to do with the actual laying of power line or tree felling. If this is true, then the forest department is wrong in giving permission to any body to cut trees for their own developmental project, without prior clearance from Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India (under Forest Conservation Act, 1980).

I am waiting to get the official response to find out the truth.


A view of the Belaguma Village - Oorigere Village road that passes through Devarayanadurga State Forest, besides which the trees have been felled.

An electric pole that has been errected in place of the felled trees.

A mature Tamarind tree that was felled.

A butterfly that was photographed near the felled trees.The trees and its surroundings hold rich biodiversity.

Bare stumps are all that remain...

Even small trees were not spared the axe...

The sad view again...

---The RTI application---

Pubic Information Officer
Office of Divisional Engineer
BESCOM Tumkauru Division
Tumakuru Town

Form A
(u/s. 6(1) and 7(1) of Right to Information Act – 2005)

Details of document/s requested Request to provide following information

1a) Whether any clearance conditions were imposed on BESCOM by
Karnataka Forest Department to lay the new power transmission line
through Devarayanadurga State Forest besides the Belagumba-Oordigere
Road leading to Navodaya School near Janapanahalli, in Tumkauru Taluk?
1b) If yes, kindly provide the details of the conditions imposed.1c)
Have the same conditions been met?

2a) How many numbers of trees will be cut for the above mentioned
power transmission line?
2b) Whether any clearance conditions have been imposed on BESCOM by
the Karnataka Forest Department, under any Forest and Environmental
Act to cut the above trees?
2c) Have the same conditions been met by BESCOM?

4. Year to which the document/s pertain Till date or as mentioned above
5. Details of amount paid Indian Postal Order:

Date: 22nd September 2007

Place: Tumakuru
Signature of the applicant

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