Chamarajanagara: A resort building is being constructed in Gundlupet Taluk of the District since three months has created questions. The cottage building coming up on slopes of Himavad Gopalaswamy Hills under Bandipur Tiger Reserve (BTR) has evoked strong objection from villagers as it is eco-sensitive zone.
The construction is going on in Gopalaswamy Range Forest Limits but the Forest Department officials did not question about construction raised suspicion. It is said that the construction site belongs to a Town Municipal Council member who is also supporter of local legislator. Though permission is given for construction of concrete structure in eco-sensitive zone for own use and not for commercial purposes. It is said that the agriculture land purchased by the owner from farmers and converted it for commercial use. The construction license is mandatory for any kind of construction from local bodies and from Forest Department. But no permission has been taken from Local Gram Panchayat and Forest Department.
Villagers allege that resort in Melukamanahalli has been constructing new cottages by availing permission for repairs. Villagers said that Forest Department issued notices to the Temple Committee for construction of Temple beside National Highway and buffer zone. The Forest Officials obstructing constructions in fields of farmers but are least bothered about illegal construction beside Gopala Swamy Betta (hill), the locals allege.
When contacted BTR In -Charge Conservator of Forests Karikalan said that no construction is allowed in eco-sensitive zones. If there is any construction by private persons is definitely illegal. He said he will look into issue and would initiate action.
Kannegala Gram Panchayat (GP) Development Officer Phalaksha said that the owner did not take any permission from gram panchayat for construction. He said he has no information about purchasing of land by the constructor. Villagers urged the Forest Department and GP authorities to stop the construction activities immediately to protect the environment.