Bangalore, Jul 17 : Congress MLA from Mangalore J R Lobo on Wednesday urged the State Government to take steps to develop the Dr K Shivaram Karanth Biological Park at Pilikula a tourist destination in the State.

Lobo, who was speaking on the budgetary demands of the Forest Department in the Legislative Assembly, said the State Government has to take measures to develop the park and provide facilities of international standards.

The Mangalore MLA asked the State to take up the issue with the Centre on relaxing curbs imposed under the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules in order to develop beach tourism in the state.

Adventure and beach tourism along the state’s coastline has not developed because of CRZ restrictions that prohibit activities up to 200 to 250 metres from the coast due to high tides, Lobo said.

He also demanded increase green cover in coastal districts, conducting survey of CRZ to build houses to the fishermen, reduce man-animal conflict and check sea erosion.
Lobo said the social forestry was launched in the early 1980s in the State but has not increased the forest cover.

The scheme was launched with the aid of the World Bank but had not progressed much, he said.
He urged Forest MinisterRamananthRai to take steps for setting up a body to protect tanks located in urban areas.

Senior Congress member Ramesh Kumar suggested to the Government to plant fruit-bearing saplings on roadsides across the State.

“A lot of fruit bearing plants were raised during the rule of Maharajas. Now the department plants only non-fruit bearing plants,” he said.

Instead of planting eucalyptus and acacia, Kumar told the Forest Department to raise fruit bearing plants of mango, jackfruit, jamun and neem along the highways which would not only increase the green cover but also ensure availability of fruits to human beings and birds.

Supporting the former Assembly speaker’s stand, JD(S) member B BNingaiah said jamun would help in preventing diabetes.

Noting that the roadside afforestation has taken up on 15,000 km, he saidthe State has 4,000 km of national highways, 21,000 km of state highways and 38,000 km of district major roads. But a lot of trees have been uprooted for road widening works.

Courtesy : daijiworld