Truck carrying waste from Kerala seized; 2 arrested
Kushalnagar: A joint operation by Wildlife Range Makutta and Makutta Territorial Range was conducted to trace vehicles dumping waste inside the Reserve Forests on the Karnataka-Kerala border last night and one truck was spotted and seized.
Two persons have been arrested and 15 gunny bags of medical waste were also seized. The operation was carried out based on the directive of B.N. Niranjan Murthy, Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF), Kodagu Circle and under the guidance of Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) and Assistant Conservator of Forests (ACF) of Wildlife and Virajpet Forest Divisions.
It may be recalled here that Star of Mysore had published a report on Jan. 30 under the headline ‘Kerala’s biomedical waste raises a stink in Kodagu’ where it was highlighted how trucks from Kerala come to Kodagu every day to dump the waste and return. This blatant violation is in spite of a Forest Department and District Police check-post at Makutta Gate or the Perumbadi check-post.
The Makutta Reserve Forest is a part of the pristine Western Ghats and comes under the Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and these unscrupulous waste handlers from the neighbouring State have already dumped waste along a 20-km stretch of the road inside Karnataka on either side. Not only by the side of the road but also tonnes of waste have been left inside the green zone or the core area of the jungle.
Karnataka Biodiversity Board Chairman visits Makutta
The Chairman of Karnataka Biodiversity Board, Napanda Ravi Kalappa, yesterday visited the Makutta Forest range to inspect the dumping of medical waste. Expressing his dissatisfaction over this dumping of waste by Kerala inside the pristine forests of Kodagu, Napanda Ravi Kalappa asked the Forest Department to prevent the trucks from carrying waste to the Kodagu district.
Asking the Department to take steps to clear the waste in phases, he also visited the Perumbadi check-post and directed the officers, Police and staff to mandatorily check each vehicle before they are let inside.
Range Forest Officers (RFOs) Denzi Dechamma and Suhana admitted that there has been a lax as it is difficult to check all vehicles all the time. He asked them to install CCTV cameras at vantage points so that the culprit vehicles can be spotted and even penalised later.