Express News Service
BENGALURU: With Anand Singh taking charge as forest, environment and ecology minister, greens are up in arms against him and Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa. They have started a signature campaign to garner support and will hand over a memorandum to the CM. Their petition states: “The Chief Minister of Karnataka has done the unthinkable! He has appointed Anand Singh, a person who has 15 police cases related to forest offences as forest minister.” The petition, put up on Change.org on Thursday, received 130 signatures, in just two hours.
The greens have questioned how forest officials can book cases against him and take action against Singh. They have also expressed worry over the careers of forest officials working on cases against him.
The petition stated: “Shri Yediyurappa and the BJP govt in Karnataka have lost all credibility by this one act of wilful mis-governance! This reminds us of the illegal mining scam again!”
Manjuanth Janakiram, one of the activists who started the petition, said, “This has come at a time when another mining baron has been appointed member of the State Wildlife Board. Cases of forest exploitation are not acceptable, especially when many projects are proposed to pass through forest areas.”Many forest officials are also against the appointment of Singh and the mining baron on the wildlife board. “It is the decision of the CM and we cannot do anything, but we do not appreciate it.
This has come at a time when Kappatagudda and Kudremukh forests are under the scanner. Damage to forests can never be restored,” said an official, who sought anonymity.Meanwhile, Singh held his maiden review meeting with officials from the forest department and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board on Thursday. Taking stock of the projects, he directed officials to take stern steps to control air and water pollution.
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