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Yeddyurappa: Rs. 500 cr. next year for tourism promotion

Special Correspondent

‘Programmes to be initiated to protect Western Ghats'



Aiming high:Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and Legislative Council Chairman D.H. Shankaramurthy at the inauguration of the Jungle Camp at Sakrebail near Shimoga on Sunday.

SHIMOGA: Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has said that an allocation of Rs. 200 crore has been made for the promotion of tourism in the State this year, which would be increased to Rs. 500 crore next year.

He was speaking after inaugurating the Jungle Camp and the “Vriksharopana” organised jointly by the Forest Department, Western Ghats Task Force and the district administration at Sakrebylu, about 12 km from here on Sunday.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said that the decision to plant 1.2 crore saplings this year would go a long way in tackling the effect of the global warming. He said that the government would initiate meaningful programmes for conservation of forest particularly in the Western Ghats region, which was considered as the lifeline of the state.

He said that the Ashwini Vana — a herbal park spread on 60 acres of land at Sakrebylu — which was in the state of neglect, was being developed by encouraging the Western Ghats Task Force to take all necessary steps. Funds sanctioned

He said that the Government had sanctioned Rs. 5 lakh for the development of the Ashwini Vana last year.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said that the government had been laying a great stress on the promotion of eco-tourism to protect the tremendous available natural resources.

Referring to the demands of temporary workers in the Forest Department, Mr. Yeddyurappa who also holds the Forest portfolio assured that he was aware of them and that he would take the necessary steps to solve them.

He announced that he would spend a day in the midst of the surroundings of the Western Ghats region to appreciate the need to conserve it.

He said that the Government was committed to implementing the recommendations of the Western Ghats Task Force for the conservation of the biodiversity and the other features of the Western Ghats region. Chairman of the Legislative Council D.H. Shankarmurthy complimented the government for taking the necessary steps to save the forest and other natural resources. MLA from Tirthahalli Kimmane Rathnakar expressed his concern over the delay in the payment of suitable compensation to the families displaced by the Upper Tunga Project.

He said that the problems of some families in the remote villages dated back to 50 years.

He said that the development of irrigation potential was as much important as the protection of the interests of the families likely to be affected by the reservoirs.

He said there were some “bechar” villages in the upstream of Tunga reservoir that were devoid of all basic amenities and urged the government to provide compensation to the families of such villages.

Mr. Rathnakar said though the current government had been responding to the problems of the displaced families positively, the speed with which it was offering the compensation was far from satisfactory.

Conservation

Chairman of the Western Ghats Task Force Ananth Hegde Ashishar said that the village forest committees were being revived for the conservation of the forest and other natural resources.

Special Officer of Tourism Department Sanjay Bijjoor said it was proposed to open the jungle camps in 10 places.

Native Medicinal Practitioners (Naati Vaidyaru) Ananthram of Sagar taluk and Rathnamma of Tirthahalli were felicitated on the occasion.

Conservator of Forests Avatar Singh welcomed the gathering.

Earlier, Mr. Yeddyurappa inaugurated the Jungle camp at Ashwini Vana and launched the boat service in the backwaters of the Tunga at Sakrebail.

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