K''taka bans eucalyptus cultivation in parts of state

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Bangalore, Feb 4 (PTI) The Karnataka Government todaybanned cultivation of eucalyptus in Malnad and Semi-Malnadareas with immediate effect.

"The implementation of the ban is to be done in threemonths. This withdrawal shall be strictly monitored by thejurisdictional Deputy Conservators of Forest", a notificationissued by the government said.

C H Vijayashankar, Karnataka Minister for Forest, toldreporters however, that eucalyptus can be planted in"moderately fertile areas, in dry zones and eroded and rockyareas in transitional zones".

Eucalyptus can be planted along with species likeGlyricidia, which check further degradation of the site andimproves soil fertility along with native species such asKamara, Seethaphal, Cassia Siamea, Bevu and Cashew and others,he said.

The minister said eucalyptus planting can also be takenup in Joint Forest Produce Management areas other than asmeans of providing firewood, poles and small timber and asmeans of generating income to the village forest committees,he said.

Vijayashankar also said the government would belaunching a massive programme of planting of trees on bothsides of road in the coming months.

He said the government was considering earmarking one percent of the state''s budget outlay for undertaking "greenKarnataka" activity.

The state has about 45,000 kms of road and about 11,000of it has come under tree plantation so far, he said.

The government wanted to increase compensation to thosekilled by wild animals from the existing Rs one lakh toRs five lakh and if the crop loss was to be tune of Rs 25,000,make full payment.

In cases where the losses exceed Rs 25,000, the upperlimit contemplated for payment of compensation was Rs onelakh, he said, adding all these proposals are expected to beannounced in the coming budget.

Well-known tree planter Saalumarada Thimmakka, creditedwith planting of innumerable trees on the roadside, wouldbe extended Rs one lakh relief to overcome her financialdifficulties, he said.

The Forest Department would also help the family of IASofficer P Srinivasan, who was killed by forest brigandVeerappan in 1991, by paying Rs 5.17 lakh to BangaloreDevelopment Authority towards purchase of the site allotted tothem, he said.

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