Ravi Chengappa(First from Left)
TOI reported that The National Green Tribunal has stayed felling of trees for all linear projects like roads, canal, power lines passing through forests in the country even if they have been granted Stage 1 clearance.
The Ministry of Forest and Environment had had permitted tree felling and construction in forest land on the basis of “in principle” approval under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 if other regulatory conditions are fulfilled. For more on this story, click here
In short – No projects of railways, roads, canals and power lines from felling trees and diverting forest land unless final approval under the FCA(Forest Conservation Act) is obtained.
So basically, no more tree chopping business in Coorg for that Mysore-Kozhikode Power line that cuts across Coorg, at least for the time-being.
Another report on the same at Deccan Chronicle, is very interesting:
Instead of seeking a Supreme Court approval, as was the earlier practice, the MoEF under the BJP(Govt) wanted project proponents to seek permission locally, from an officer not below the rank of a divisional forest officer.
The high-tension Kodagu power line was one of the major national projects that were strongly opposed by Green Peace. The line from Kaiga Atomic Power station in Karnataka to Kasargod will pass through the thick evergreen forests of Brahmagiri and Pushpagiri wildlife sanctuaries.
It is said that over 55,000 trees will have to be axed down for drawing the line to the state. “The project could have gone ahead if a lowly DFO gave his approval. We have also been instructed to grant such clearances in double-quick time,” a top Forest Department official said
The author of the Report at DC, R. Ayyappan has got one thing wrong, very, very wrong, in the report and that is that “the power line project passing through Coorg was strongly opposed by Green Peace”.
The truth is that the whole opposition for the project started at Grassroots level, by Ravi Chengappa, his Kaveri Sene and Coorg Wildlife Society & Colonel(Retd) Muthanna and other concerned citizens from Karnataka. They should be getting all the credit for educating the people of Coorg about the project, and for petitioning the NGT(which they lost) and the courts.
Now where did this Green Peace guys come in ? . They did, but that was a mere petition on their site, which Muckatira Bheemaiah launched on Greenpeace’s website. I am not saying that it was a bad move. More support the better.
But, the fact remains, a mere petition on this website or that website, does not change anything much, other than spreading the word more. The real hard work is on the ground and Ravi Chengappa and Col. Muthanna do that. We should support them more.
And how are our dolt political representatives at Coorg treating Ravi Chengappa ? They are filing sedition charges on Chengappa. Yeah, you heard it right. Desh Drohi case.
Very interesting story. Chengappa was distributing a One Page Pamphlet to the general public at a meeting. So one Mallanda (Madhu) Devaiah, who seems to be associated with the Virajpet MLA K.G.Bopaiah, files a case against Chengappa charging him under under the Press and Registration of Books Act 1867, alleging that the one-page pamphlet did not mention the publisher’s name.
He went ahead and filed more cases on Chengappa. The best one was that Chengappa is a Desh Drohi. For more on this, click here
Another charge made was under Section 505 of the Indian Penal Code about making, publishing or circulating statements or rumours with the intention of causing mutiny or public alarm.