Eco Talk: Fighting to Save the Bannerghatta National Park

In this episode, we are talking about a sensitive issue – the Bannerghatta National Park. This forest is located 20 kilometers away from Bangalore city. People are often surprised to find that there exists such a place even today. They are surprised because this is one of the national parks of India and that it is home to many elephants. But the park has been beset with problems due to mining activity happening near it – it has led to water contamination, animal disturbance and various other environmental problems.

For the past three years, Vijay Nishant has studied the biodiversity of this place and documented it in detail. He has focused on the Western Ghats’s species here. “Recently, it was near this elephant corridor that a tiger was spotted and about 15 quarries were active. That situation was so bad that it had become national news, it was reported on news channels, and newspapers, and all the violations were revealed.”

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In a forest, a ten-kilometer area is usually marked as an ‘eco-sensitive zone’. An eco- sensitive zone is where no human activities are allowed and is only meant for the animals. Recently, this order has been broken in Bannerghatta and the eco-sensitive zone has been violated and quarries have been built. “I have joined hands with United Bengaluru and we are trying to fight against this problem. We have even referred this to the Union Minister, the Prime Minister and also to the Chief Minister. Even the Justice Order and freedom fighter Dorreswamy have come together to fight this problem. This forest is like a boon for Bengaluru because it ensures that we have heavy rainfall and prevents any overflowing. Various books have also been published in which Bannerghatta’s situation has been mentioned.”

In the past three years, few animals have been spotted in this area because of the illegal activities. It took many protests and fights to remedy this problem to some extent. “Today, if we go to Bannerghatta early in the morning, we will be able to spot many animals like tigers, elephants, deer, and forest dogs.” Even Lokayukta has decided to fight against the illegal activities problem and has als passed a separate order to help this cause.

Forests are meant for animals and we have no right to destroy them to build cities. Bannerghatta is one of the biggest forests we have near Bangalore today, so our main motive should be to save it.

Listen in for more…



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