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06 November, 2013

A victory against illegal widening of road inside Devarayanadurga forest

Dear Nature lovers,

Tumkur's forests, wildlife and nature lovers have a reason to cheer thanks to the Honourable Lokayukta of Karnataka. We have scored a small victory against the illegal widening of road in Chinnaga area inside Devarayanadurga state forest boundaries. The Honourable Lokayukta of Karnataka has issued orders disposing our complaint filed in October 2007 (Case no: COMPT/ LOK/ BD/112/2007) regarding these matters. 



Below is a brief summary of the orders:
a) Order to DC, Tumkur District: To provide details of Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE), ZP in whose period the road was illegally widened.
b) Order to RFO, Tumkur Range: To file chargesheet against above AEE as well as contractors responsible for illegal widening of the road. 
c) Order to the PCCF, Karnataka: To look into the illegal activities taking place inside Devarayanadurga state forest and other forests across Tumkur district and submit a report to the H'ble Lokayukta within one month.

This is a big boost to nature lovers for the following reasons:
1) It upholds the sanctity of the original notification of Devarayanadurga issued in 1907 as well as the Survey of India map (topo-sheet 57G/3 of 1:50,000 scale) which were the pillars of our allegations. 
2) Secondly, the H'ble Lokayukta itself is agreeing and legally upholding our allegations as true. It boosts the moral standing of local environment activists in common man's eyes. 
3) This order will create fear among the corrupt officials who will now think twice before breaking our forest and wildlife laws. It will encourage the honest officials who have always stood up for the law to fearlessly carry out their duties even when under pressure from their political bosses
4) Most importantly this has set an example for other conservationists across India to take the help of law to solve similar cases. And they can use original reserve forest notifications dating back to 1900 AD as basis of their complaint.

We look forward to see the punishment which the road contractors and the AEE get. No matter what the punishment is, it will set an example against all such misadventures in the future.

WANC thanks the people who have strived to bring into existence Right to Information Act (RTI) in India and also those who have worked for the existence and strengthening of Lokayukta in Karnataka. We thank all our well wishers for their continued support and encouragement.

And this good news is a call for a small celebration and also a reason for greater determination to work to save our last remaining wilderness areas as we approach WANC's 25th anniversary next year. 

Below is a scanned copy of the H'ble Lokayukta court order. And here is our original complaint:
http://tumkurenvironment.blogspot.in/2007/10/complaint-with-lokayukta-karnataka.html

Thank you,
Ameen Ahmed
Mallikarjun.M.








Below are a few other posts on this blog related to these issues: