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Thread: Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka, given away for peanuts

  1. #1
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    Default Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka, given away for peanuts

    Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary (Kanakapura Wildlife Division) is a key elephant habitat covered under India's Project Elephant program....The river cauvery runs through this park... A 6Km stretch of this river bank has been given to a private party on an "exclusive" basis to set up camps/cottages to conduct commercial tourism activities and also conduct angling sports of catching fish on the river. This permission has been granted from Sep 2007 to Sep 2017 for a period of 10 years!!!!**** As per wildlife protection act, no animal inside a protected area can be teased or molested or disturbed. It amounts to hunting as per act Section 2. It defines fish as wildlife.**** Also as per the Act, no commercial tourist camp can be set up inside a park without the permission of National Board of Wildlife and also without the permission of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India.*** Elephants and other large mammals hesitate to approach the river to drink water due to the constant presence of cottages and camps on the bank. The animals are shoo'd away in order to protect the guests who are generally British anglers who come all the way to India to spend weeks inside the Sanctuary. All these acts are EXPLICITLY prohibited under Indian Wildlife Protection Act (Under Section 2 and under Sections 29 to 33).The exclusive permission for a fee of Rs 50,000 per annum has been given by the Chief Wildlife Warden stating that he has powers under section 28 of the Act. But what he has comfortably hidden is that under section 29, he cannot give that permission.The permission is also against various orders of Hon'ble Supreme Court of India.* Who will save the Sanctuary?? Can our elephants live peacefully inside the park and not worry about drinking water in their own rightful habitat?? Wont others apply (and obtain) "exlusive" permissions to set up similar camps inside bandipur and nagarhole to entertain guests??

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    Default

    Can we have more details? Who is the private party etc? You can always PM this to me if you feel it may not be appropriate to post this in a public forum. We could then talk offline.

    Apana

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    I have no idea or information about this particular issue. Would like to know more about it.

    Whenever a permission is given to set up a resort or construction in a wild place, the consequences should be studied carefully. Unfortunately, that is not done.

    For eg. in Parambikulam the present position of the forest guest house, ecotourism camps etc are right in the elephant migration path. A decade back, there used to be huge herds of gaur roaming around there. Then one ill informed forest official cleared the place for construction of the forest rest house. Though that gentleman was transfered, the building remained and then more were added up. And now the ecotourism tents and buildings have come up there.

    So whenever some new construction comes up the place is changed for ever. I wish the authorities giving permission are more careful.

    Would like to hear more about this unfortunate case.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

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    Default Details of permission given to private resort operator

    Permission has been given to M/s Bush Betta Wildlife Adventure Resort (proprietor Mr Nawabzada Saad Bin Jung - as found in the PCCF's order) for Angling sports facility at Mekedatu upto Tamilnadu border - 6 Kms stretch inside the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, Kanakapura Wildlife Division.

    Order Ref: B/WL/CR-39/2005-06 dated 27-02-2007 issued by the PCCF and Chief Wildlife Warden of Karnataka Forest Department.
    (I have all relevant documents obtained under RTI)

    Permission for 10 years from Sep 2007 to Sep 2017.

    Annual fee Rs 50,000/- for EXCLUSIVE fishing, angling and Camping inside the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary (all clauses violate Wildlife Protection Act and Violates Hon'ble Supreme Court's orders)

    Order recognises that the operator has invested HUGE amount of money on Infrastructure!!!!! (Inside a Protected Area??!!!!!)

    The above permission cannot be issued as per WPA and also as per Supreme Court's orders. As per the act, catching and angling of fish inside a protected area is considered as HUNTING. Also a resort/camp cannot be set up inside a park without the permission of National Board of Wildlife and Hon'ble Supreme Court.

    How do we save the park?

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    Default

    Ramesh, thanks once again for the relevant information. This adds clarity and veracity. I shall try to make independent enquiries and get back to you in a day or two.

    Apana

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    Default

    Mr Apana.

    Were you able to verify this as you had mentioned in your previous post?

    The operations inside the Sanctuary is in full swing with guests having bon-fire and guitar music !!

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    Ramesh,

    I am just back from Coorg and Kabini and will check on this during the course of the week and report back.

    Apana

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    Default Update on Cauvery WS. Shocking reply from Chief Wildlife Warden.

    Friends.

    I was very disturbed by this "giving away" of Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary as written by me earlier in this forum.

    In April 2009, I served a legal notice to the Karnataka Forest department, Karnataka Government and to Centre (MoEF), under section 55 of the Wildlife Protection Act, through an Advocate practising in the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India.

    The Chief Wildlife Warden of Karnataka has replied to me now (others haven't replied yet).

    I have enclosed a scanned copy of the reply (2 pags). Please read both the pages. It is very shocking to see the views of a Chief Wildife Warden especially for activities that has been permitted in a critical elephant habitat (Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary):

    - in Para 3, he has said no fire is being kindled. But the bush betta resort (they call it an angling camp) lights bon-fire every night

    - in para 3, he has said no construction of commercial lodge has been allowed inside the sanctuary. He is bluffing blatantly.

    (Please see these web links. What is this then? A charity camp??!!)

    http://www.fishmahseer.com/fishing.php

    http://www.fishmahseer.com/camp.php

    The Chief Wildlife Warden believes that this Fishing camp with accommodation etc is NOT a commercial tourism lodge !!! Please see the above websites for pictures of the actual accommodation. Can we allow such "camps" in Nagarhole and Bandipur??


    In Para 7 he says no permission has been given to expolit or disturb wildlife. What is angling then? Is it not disturbing and is it not exploitation? What conservation purpose does it serve? Please see the above website that clearly shows that the aquatic fish are being angled, baited, trapped and injured. We do not know if they are alive when they are released back in the river. They may die much later after the release due to the nature of injuries.

    Para 8 is the Killer. The chief wildlife warden says that "Manual angling of fish, catching and releasing DOES NOT amount to Fishing" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He further goes on to say that it creates "Intimacy and Awareness"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So, can people go inside the park and catch animals and release them to build intimacy and awareness?? How about catching deer, birds, etc for intimacy? How can any such thing be allowed inside a protected area?

    If you read the two pages, you will notice that the Chief Wildlife Warden is in full support of a tourism lodge that has been built (doesn't matter if it is temporary or permanent) inside a Protected area (against the Wildlife Protection Act). He has also taken lots of pain to defend "exploitation of wildlife inside the park which serves no purpose or no good for wildlife conservation"

    It is only a question of time before we have such camps coming inside other National Parks and Sanctuaries in Karnataka.

    I have now approached the CEC in New Delhi and filed a complaint.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Tiger Ramesh; 17-09-2009 at 04:58 PM. Reason: forgot attachments

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    Default page 2 of the reply

    Pls see my earlier post for page 1.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    Default

    I deeply respect nature and wildlife. Stepping in to share my thoughts with my first post. Please bear with its unstructured flow of thoughts.

    After reading the various views on “giving away” cauvery, any wildlife lover would naturally feel upset and concerned. I too felt the same just like all of you, until I saw it in a different light.

    By permitting Bush betta aren’t the forest officials actually promoting wildlife tourism and if Bush betta has acted responsibly protecting nature and its wildlife, Isn’t it good for the wildlife.

    Jungle lodges too operate camps in a similar manner and in a larger scale. Isn’t it good for the wildlife and the local people who get employed, conserve the forest land and protect its inhabitants? Hasn’t this reduced the extent of illegal fishing and poaching which otherwise would have been rampant? Angling fish, so called Joy fishing is cruel but isn’t a living fish better than one dead.

    Shouldn’t our forest department adopt healthy practices and appoint responsible wildlife camps and resorts as wildlife brand ambassadors to protect the wild?

    Is it possible for all wildlife freaks, photographers, scientists, to stay away from the forests and not disturb the wild at all?

    Look at Africa, despite many controversies it has successfully introduced responsible wildlife tourism which has reduced illegal poaching and protects wildlife.

    If only, we take a step back, be supportive, think in a progressive manner, work in collaboration with the forest department and adopt ways to coexist with wildlife, will we succeed in its conservation.

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    Hi Hemant,

    Please introduce yourself in the Who's who section so that we can know you better.

    Wildlife tourism or ecotourism as it is called, is projected as a panacea for our problems. Unfortunately, it is not.

    One of the primary roles of the forest department is in protection. They can't abdicate it. Tourism cannot be a solution to the lack of patrolling and protecting our natural resources.

    As far as employment of the local people is concerned, it is better that the eligible ones be directly recruited by the forest department for the patrolling duties, rather than depending upon resorts to provide employment. We have seen that local population gets very little. It is ofcourse a different matter if you consider that most of the so called local people are settlers from outside. Anyway, that is a different point of discussion.

    Every forest has got a carrying capacity. Beyond that it has deleterious effects. Look at many of our National Parks, and you can see the impact of tourism.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

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    Hi

    Your views are right and we can only hope that the forest officials adopt better forest management systems. But when one is exposed to the facts and understand the problems faced by them, we begin to believe that this is a distant dream.

    Am jotting my views in bold to the views raised by you.


    One of the primary roles of the forest department is in protection. They can't abdicate it.(True but the fact is that they are ill equipped with resources, manpower and technology to handle it.)

    Tourism cannot be a solution to the lack of patrolling and protecting our natural resources. Look at it from their point of view, they lack sufficient manpower and financial support to implement better and efficient methods. Weather we like it or not wildlife tourism will only flourish, so is there a better way to engage wildlife tourism providers in pitching in their bit to conservation.

    As far as employment of the local people is concerned, it is better that the eligible ones be directly recruited by the forest department for the patrolling duties, rather than depending upon resorts to provide employment. We have seen that local population gets very little. This is a tough one and its implementation looks beyond practical. I happened to speak to a guard on one of my trips to Nagarhole and he mentioned that they sometimes go without salary for months; their pays are pathetic and his list of grievances was long.

    It is ofcourse a different matter if you consider that most of the so called local people are settlers from outside. Anyway, that is a different point of discussion.

    Every forest has got a carrying capacity. Beyond that it has deleterious effects. Look at many of our National Parks, and you can see the impact of tourism. Its sad and frustrating to see misbehaving tourists coupled with the lack of knowledge on how to behave in the wild. People who are passionate about wildlife should step in and join hands with the forest department in implementing better and efficient ways to deal with this nuisance.

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    The point of discussion was patrolling. That is the responsibility of the forest department. Tourism in lieu of patrolling by the forest department is a naive idea. Wildlife tourism should be non-consumptive. Unfortunately, we leave a trail of destruction behind us.

    It is a fact that wildlife tourism is flourishing and will continue to flourish. It is a distant dream to expect the wildlife tour operators to contribute to conservation efforts in a meaningful way. In some places, they have been forced to fork out a sum for anti-poaching efforts or are involved in donating a bundle of clothes here and there.

    I agree that forest guards go without salary, especially the temporary ones. There are systemic faults as well. You can check the discussions in conservation section for further details. Whenever, you come to know of such a situation, let us know. We will raise our voice.

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    Default Progress Update

    Here is an update on this matter.

    On 23rd Feb 2010, Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF), Central Government, told CEC during the hearing, that the permission granted to the Angling camp within Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary was illegal and also was against the orders of the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India.

    Post that, The CEC has written to the Chief WildLife Warden of Karnataka, advising him to review the permission granted to the Angling camp.

    On 17th March 2010, the Karnataka Forest department argued in front of CEC that the permission granted by them was not illegal. To which, the CEC has asked Karnataka Forest Department to file a reply in response to the objections raised by MoEF before the 7th April 2010 (next hearing).

    I will update after 7th April 2010.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    That's good news... Looking forward to more updates from you... Thanks for the post.
    Regards,
    Bibhav Behera
    www.bibhavbehera.com

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    It is good to hear that some action will be taken against the illegal activities. I hope result comes soon. Thanks for sharing.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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    Hi Ramesh,

    Do you have any further updates after the court hearing on April 7, 2010?

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    Hi Lax.
    The Chief Wildlife Warden of Karnataka had taken time from CEC to implement their "advice" of not permitting angling activities in Karnataka. So all angling activities have stopped. But I read a newspaper article that the Karnataka Forest Department has written a letter to Ministry of Environment and Forests seeking their final stand on this matter. In the meantime, M/s Bush Betta has filed a Writ petition with Karnataka High Court. We are one of the respondents. We have filed our responses as well. The case is being heard right now. Will post further updates soon.

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    Default MoEF clarifies again. Angling not to be allowed.

    This article appeared on yesterday's Deccan Herald Newspaper.

    http://www.deccanherald.com/content/...ing-camps.html


    MoEF’s reiteration of ban may lead to their closure
    Centre to reel in fishing camps
    Subhash Chandra N S, Bangalore, DHNS:


    For the fishing camps of State owned Jungle lodges and resorts (JLR), as well as a few private fishing camps, the end of the road is near as the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has confirmed the ban on angling of Mahsheer fish in the State’s protected areas.


    In July 2010, the State Government directed the JLR to suspend its activities at the fishing camps until the MOEF clarified its stance regarding the ban on angling. It also made a submission in the High Court, stating that it had written to MOEF seeking clarification. It also submitted that the department had directed the State-owned Jungle Lodges and Resorts to suspend angling in all stretches of river Cauvery and in areas allocated to them.The State owns three of the four fishing camps in Cauvery wildlife Sanctuary Doddamakali, Bheemeshwari and Galibore.

    In response to the letter dated August 3, 2010 in connection with an appeal before the High Court challenging the withdrawal of permission to a fishing camp in sanctuary, Prakriti Srivastava, Deputy Inspector General (wildlife), MOEf, has replied, reiterating her Ministry’s ban on angling of Masheer.

    “The earlier stand of the Ministry is reiterated. As per Section 2 (16) (b), Section 29 and Section 33 of Wildlife Protection Act 1972, Angling of Mahsheer inside the protected area is illegal and cannot be allowed,” Srivastava said in a letter dated October 11, 2010, available with Deccan Herald.

    The earlier letter of MOEF dated June 7, 2010 says that angling and its release into the water immediately amounted to hunting. “Capturing, coursing, snaring, trapping, driving or baiting any wildlife or captive animal amounts to hunting and presuming capture of mahseer amounts to sport is wrong. Even hunting was a sport earlier and has been banned now.”

    Following its petition in the High Court, a meeting convened by the State Government on July 19, 2010, resolved to write write to the Union Ministry seeking clarification regarding the ban. Chaired by Meera C Saxena, Additional Chief Secretary, Forests Ecology and Environment Department, it was attended by K Jyothiramlingam, Principal Secretary, Tourism, B K Singh, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Wildlife warden, N D Tiwari, Additional PCCF, Jungle Lodges and resorts, Sanjay Mohan, CCF and Executive Director, JLR and Nagraj Hampole, CCF and Secretary Forests.

    The petitioners Bush Betta fishing camp (BBFC) had moved the High Court challenging the Supreme Court’s Central Empowered Committee.

    On a petition by a City based wildlife enthusiast, Tiger G Ramesh in February 2010, the CEC had directed the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden to reconsider permission for a fishing camp in the sanctuary.

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    Default Anglers have Cat Fish for Lunch ?!

    Hi. This is my 100th Post on IndiaWilds

    I have attached a link I found on the net. Please read the article in full. You will find that one of the anglers is quoted saying that the cat fish he caught (inside a protected area) went to the camp for dinner. The article further talks about lunch menu which also contains cat fish. To talk about responsible conservation efforts !!!! The Indian wildlife Act very clearly says that no wildlife can be exploited in any form inside a protected area.

    http://www.anglersnet.co.uk/forums/V...tml&hl=cauvery

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    Congrats on completing 100 .

    The article mention about the fish being included in the menu. It surely needs to be stopped. Any more updates on the case? Thanks for sharing the link.
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrudul Godbole View Post
    Congrats on completing 100 .

    The article mention about the fish being included in the menu. It surely needs to be stopped. Any more updates on the case? Thanks for sharing the link.

    Mrudul. Thanks
    Did you read my previous post. Thats the latest update as of 9th Nov.
    Will keep updating more as and when things move.

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    Thanks for sharing the article. I agree with the MoEF stand. This is likely to result in the fishing camps suspending their fishing activities. The law of the land has to prevail.

    Also, we must note that the common man is also not allowed to do fishing in the reserves. So making an exception for the pleasure of a few well heeled enthusiasts is morally not right.

    Good job done in pursuing this issue.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

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    Default Article appeared on Civil Society Magazine

    Here is an update on this matter. The Civil Society Magazine has carried a cover story on this subject called the "Mahseer Muddle".

    Incidentally the next hearing on this matter has been posted for 16th December by CEC (Supreme Court's Committee) in New Delhi.

    http://civilsocietyonline.com/dec10/dec101.asp

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    The primary responsibility of protection lies on the shoulders of the forest department. Inefficiency of the forest department in certain protected areas doesn't mean we will go and implement a solution that is far from ideal.

    Let us know what is the outcome tomorrow.

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