Home » Joint Survey to Address Deemed Forest Confusions: Karnataka Minister Emphasizes Transparency

Joint Survey to Address Deemed Forest Confusions: Karnataka Minister Emphasizes Transparency

by In-house Editor

In a bid to resolve confusions arising from errors in the deemed forest notification, Karnataka’s Forest, Ecology, and Environment Minister, Eshwar Khandre, has proposed a joint survey with the revenue department. The minister emphasized the need for transparency in ownership claims and instructed officials to make the map of 3.3 lakh acres of deemed forest accessible to the public.

Deemed forests, often wooded areas recognized as forests unofficially, face classification challenges in official records by central or state authorities. Minister Khandre discussed the issue of forest-revenue land in a high-level meeting with Energy Minister K J George, who oversees Chikkamagaluru district.

The state government has reportedly finalized the list of deemed forests, submitting an affidavit before the Supreme Court. However, discrepancies, including ‘patta’ land (cultivated land with ownership claims) and schools, have been noted in the revised list. Minister Khandre suggested a collaborative effort between deputy commissioners and the Forest Department to conduct a joint survey across all districts. This, he believes, will help rectify errors and facilitate the submission of a revised affidavit.

Minister Khandre assured that the eviction of encroachments would be put on hold until the joint survey is completed. The focus on transparency and accuracy in the deemed forest notification process underscores the government’s commitment to fair and accountable land classification.

Addressing the increasing incidents of human-animal conflicts, Minister Khandre attributed the rise to inadequate rainfall. To mitigate conflicts, he announced plans to install railway barricades preventing wild elephants from entering human habitats. The Forest Department has been tasked with proposing suitable measures, including relocating wild elephants back to the forest and troublesome tuskers to elephant camps.

Revenue Department Principal Secretary, Rajendra Kumar Kataria, shared that efforts were underway to make deemed forest maps available online within a week, leveraging sophisticated drone technology for a comprehensive joint survey.

As Karnataka takes proactive steps towards resolving deemed forest-related issues, the joint survey initiative reflects a commitment to transparency, accuracy, and sustainable coexistence between humans and wildlife.

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