Experts May Prepare Master Plan to Preserve BTR’s Environmentally Sensitive Area | Mysore News
Mysuru: Concerned about preserving the ecological balance of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, the Forestry Department is working on a zonal master plan to protect its environmentally sensitive areas. The plan is touted as the first of its kind in Karnataka, with biologist and wildlife enthusiast Sanjay Gubbi among those who have expressed interest in helping the department draft the plan.
Bandipur sits at the very heart of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, which in turn is an integral part of the Mysore Elephant Reserve. Besides being home to the country’s largest tiger population, Bandipur is home to a large number of elephants.
Despite the dense wildlife population, there is no master plan in place for the conservation of ecologically sensitive areas within the reserve, the conservation of water bodies and the restoration of uncovered areas. The proposed master plan hopes to fill these gaps in the management of Bandipur.
Forest department officials told TOI that the new plan would identify all existing places of worship inside the reserve, tribal hamlets, farmland and count water bodies. The plan is drafted under the provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and officials from all state government departments are consulted, given the impact of its implementation on the conservation of the local ecology .
The environmentally sensitive area within the Bandipur Tiger Reserve is home to 123 villages spread across the Nanjangud and HD Kote taluks in Mysuru, Gundlupet and Chamarajanagar in the border district. The land use model in these villages is mainly intended for agricultural and horticultural crops, while utilities such as roads, health centers, etc., occupy the remaining space.
Bandipur’s Gundlupet Subdivision Deputy Conservator K Paramaesh told TOI: “The department has issued a tender inviting experts to submit their proposal for the master plan. Sanjay Gubbi has expressed interest in drafting the plan. The plan submission deadline is December.
Paramesh added that the Bandipur eco-sensitive area watch committee would allow farmers to build farms in the five specially dedicated guntas. “The farmer will have to get permission from the department before building the house. The committee, however, warned farmers against constructing illegal buildings or using the land for commercial purposes under the pretext of using it for organic cultivation. The committee asked the revenue department to demolish structures built without permission, ”Paramesh said.