Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Bangalore Likely to Take Path of Ethiopia: Na D’souza

Deccan Herald -- The chief minister has been warned that Bangalore will soon become another Ethiopia if the green cover is drastically reduced.

Chief minister Dharam Singh seems to be in a hurry to convert Karnataka into another Ethiopia, writer Na D’souza said.

He was speaking after inaugurating the 'Hasire Usiru Parisara Jagruthi Vedike' in Shikaripura town on Monday.

Mr Dsouza said that the king of Ethiopia Haile Selassie gave away his forests to foreign companies on contract thirty years ago to exploit at will. As a result Ethiopia does not have any forest cover today and more than five lakh people die of hunger in this country every year.

Though this is a living example before us, our chief minister has decided to reduce the green cover in Bangalore from 1240 square kilometers to a mere 419 square kms. Perhaps the chief minister wants to hand over the land claimed from the green belt to foreign companies and allow them to develop concrete jungles. Incidentally, is it possible to convert Bangalore into Singapore without developing concrete jungles, he wondered.

Politicians are eager to destroy the delicate balance between man and environment. In the coming days residents of Bangalore will have to wear masks to protect themselves from pollution. If the public do not protest against such moves immediately and intensely they will have to face untold miseries and tragedies in the coming days, he warned.

Accusing the state government of having failed completely to maintain the environmental balance he noted that in Japan there is an order prohibiting the flying of planes in places where there are birds. In Bangalore ironically huge nets have been installed to prevent birds from entering the skies near the airport. If a bird accidentally strays in it is shot dead, he noted.

Tree cover is reducing with every passing day. Rainfall has depleted to alarming levels and the rivers and falls which were always full of water were now dry for the most part of the year. Bagar hokum cultivation was increasing. Who should take the responsibility of this rampant deforestation, he questioned and felt that voluntary organizations have a major role to play in creating awareness about the need to protect the environment.

If forests are denuded and environment continually abused in this manner there will be very bad days ahead for the next generation, he said.

Range forest officer Satish noted that the forests of the district come under the Western Ghats which is noted for its rich bio diversity. Each and every individual has a responsibility towards these forests and trees, he said.

President of the Hasire Usiru Parisara Jagruthi Vedike K S Huchrayappa presided over the programme. Honorary president M M Jayaswamy made the prefatory remarks. Sagar assistant commissioner Dr Narasimhamurthy, taluk Kannada Sahitya Parishat president Raghu, tahsildar Krishnappa were present.

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