Forest in the Kodagu reserve threatened by illegal stone miners; criminals include forestry personnel – The New Indian Express

ByDavid M. Conte

Jan 9, 2022

Through Express news service

MADIKERI: The Nishane Motte belt of the Pattighat reserve forest in the Talacauvery sanctuary is home to a rich shola forest and is home to a variety of fauna. While entry into the forest is restricted in the name of protection, this restriction has provided clean cover for the increase in illegal mining of crystal stones.

Land mines over 30 feet deep have been discovered within the forest area of ​​the reserve and ironically these mines were dug with the support and assistance of those appointed as forestry staff and rangers. .

The picturesque Nishane Motte belt in Talacauvery Sanctuary had become a victim of illegal stonework nearly two decades ago. However, to curb the illegal mining that was then carried out by a few residents, the area was declared a protected forest and the illegal land mines were then sealed with concrete.

Protection of the forest fell into the hands of the forestry department and severe restrictions were imposed on the entry of residents and even the entry of livestock. However, illegal mining continued at the site – this time quietly and with the support of staff in charge of the forestry department. Nonetheless, this low-key action emerged after a rift arose between the accused forestry staff who were involved in the extraction of the stones.

“An earth mine over 30 feet deep was found hidden underground and it is connected to an old earth mine. Further investigation in this regard is needed and I have requested a full report on the incident, ”said Poovaiah, Madikeri DCF, who recently visited to investigate the case.

He confirmed the involvement of a few forestry workers in the case and said: “Notices have been served on defaulting suspects in the case. The suspensions will be pronounced after obtaining a full investigation report on the case. The department will certainly take the necessary legal action against all those involved in illegal mining.

At the same time, he added that camera traps will now be set up in the area and steps will be taken to permanently stop illegal mining inside the protected forest.

The on-site inspection uncovered equipment and ropes hidden inside forest bushes and piles of dirt that were dug up from the mine were also found near the water source in the forest area. .

Ironically, the landmine was found right next to the ranger camp, directly indicating staff involvement in the incident. The villagers also suspect the involvement of some residents and bigwigs of the neighborhood; they shared that no strict action has ever emerged against the defaulters, despite the repeatedly reported illegal mining case in the region.