Who are we petitioning: Chief Minister of Karnataka, B. S. Yediyurappa and Karnataka State Wildlife Board
1. Revoke the decision to build a film city in Hesaraghatta
2. Declare Hesaraghatta as a conservation reserve project.
Why it is important
On the periphery of Bengaluru city is Hesaraghatta lakebed that spans an area of about 1912 acres. The 356 acres of landscape surrounding the lakebed is the last remaining grassland habitat in the Bengaluru region.
The plan to protect these grasslands by declaring it a conservation reserve was rejected by the State Board for Wildlife 20 January, 2021 citing commercial reasons. The state forest department, along with the animal husbandry department, had chalked out a proposal for declaring the 5,010 acre land area as “Greater Hesaraghatta Grassland Conservation Reserve” and placed it before the Board but it was rejected.
Around 235 species of birds, some of them listed as endangered or vulnerable on the IUCN Red List, glide across the sky. A whopping 400 species of insects, of which nearly 30 have been described as new to science by entomologists, and 100 species of butterflies including the very rare Lilac Silverline (Cigaritis lilacinus), have chosen this land as their breeding spot.
A paper published in 2013 suggests that the lakebed vegetation is in transition. “From being a true aquatic community, the vegetation in the lakebed is undergoing a process of ‘ecological succession’ and is currently a grassland-savannah-woodland complex,” says the paper.
Moreover, Hesaraghatta tank is one of the two major water reservoirs of the Arkavathy river. And with Yettinahole river diversion project, lakes like Hesaraghatta would be augmented to provide water to rural Bengaluru.
Scientists believe that Hesaraghatta grasslands and surrounding areas are under pressure from various human activities that are bound to increase if any conservation intervention is delayed. They believe a film city here will sound the death knell to the grasslands, and Bengaluru city will lose one of its pristine, ecologically important habitats forever.
Sign the petition now to save the last remaining grassland of Bengaluru.
Board rejects Hessarghatta conservation reserve project - The New Indian Express