Bengaluru, Oct 13,2016: The Union Forest Ministry has permitted felling of trees and to utilise forest lands for the controversial Yettinahole Project aimed at supplying drinking water to parched districts. With this a major hurdle in the implementation of the project has been cleared.
The Ministry has permitted conditional felling of trees in 13.93 acres land in Sakleshpur forest limits. Meanwhile, the State Forest Department has permitted felling of 4995 trees and 1332 bamboo trees in the same limits and transport the same to Hassan.
It may be recalled here that there was a huge controversy earlier alleging that the trees were being felled to facilitate the project without seeking the approval of the Forest Department though the state government had in its affidavit before the Green Tribunal had stated that trees would not be felled without the permission of the Forest Department .
The condition now laid down by the Forest Ministry for felling of trees is that the land should belong to the Forest Department itself after the same is utilised for the project, an equal measure of forest should be developed and that the 40 acre land presently utilised as a dumping land should be developed later. Other conditions laid down include that water should be pumped only from June 15 to October 31 and that 15 cusecs water should be allowed to flow naturally. A total of 53 such conditions have been laid down.