Reducing the ecosensitive area around Bannerghatta could make the city not viable to live

Earlier this month, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, BS Yediyurappa, wrote to the Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change of the Union: Prakash Javadekar , to reduce the area around the National Park by 100 square kilometers, from its exciting 268 square kilometers. Obviously, this has not worked well with environmentalists and other like-minded citizens, who have now addressed the cause of the park with a Save Bannerghatta campaign.

Speaking with us, the environmentalist says: “We are looking for public support to stop any changes in the buffer zone. If (ESZ) is reduced, there will be quarries, mining and development of generalized residential designs, all of which will further damage the forest. Bengaluru is already dealing with high levels of air, water, soil and noise pollution. The 268 square kilometers around Bannerghatta National Park protect its rich biodiversity and is a vital corridor of elephants. Any attempt by the government to reduce the buffer zone will lead to greater human-animal conflict. Any decision to reduce will cause irreparable damage to the flora and fauna of Bannerghatta and will affect the supply of oxygen to Bangalore, which is already experiencing high temperatures.

Expressing anguish over the government's apathy in environmental protection, the Namma Bengaluru Foundation adds: “Bannerghatta is the only natural forest in Bengaluru. The reduction of the natural buffer zone also reduces the water currents that feed the Cauvery River, which, in turn, can leave the taps dry. The government should see the basic reality from the eyes of citizens and not from the eyes of some vested interests. The smaller ESZ will fragment and disintegrate BNP. By reducing the buffer zone, we are making Bengaluru a city that is not viable for life.

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