Talacauvery Wild Life Sanctuary : The government has declared the Talacauvery Wild Life Sanctuary spread across 105.59 sq km as an eco-sensitive zone. This comes after the Environment Ministry notification on the proposed ecologically sensitive areas (ESAs) in the Western Ghats. Karnataka has about five national parks and 27 sanctuaries, seven conservation reserve and one community reserve. The draft notification was issued on May 25 last year and the final notification was issued on May 15.
Talacauvery, the birthplace of the sacred river Cauvery, is located 44 km from Madikeri, on the slopes of Brahmagiri Hill. Besides being a pilgrimage center, Talacauvery is known for its natural beauty located 1,276 m. above sea level
Talacauvery Wild Life Sanctuary is an eco-sensitive zone under the Environment Protection Act. As per the Act, the area around the protected area could be heritage sites and others and there has been a provision to declare them as sensitive zones. But this was not being done and the National Wildlife Board based on the Supreme Court direction had stated that it is about 10 km, if not declared. Hence, so far it used to be 10 km. “But we started rationalising the area and had sent a proposal. Each proposal is now being approved and the rest of the sanctuaries in the area around will soon be declared as sensitive zones. It is not the Kasturirangan report. It is a statutory requirement and the state government after discussion with the district administration and representatives had sent a proposal,”
As per the notification the region around the sanctuary from 1-16 km has been declared as the eco-sensitive zone. No commercial activity such as mining can be conducted and no new industries can be set up here. It also prohibits extension of industries that cause pollution, major hydel power plants, saw mills as well as rearing of animals. This declaration is also likely to hamper the union government highway project from Bhagamandala to Kerala’s Panathoor.
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