The Bannerghatta National Park with its expanse of greenery that contributed to Bengaluru being a garden city is shrinking gradually despite clear orders on preserving the surrounding environment.
Activities relating to commercial developments continue around the hemisphere of the BNP despite an interim stop order from the High Court. A declaration by the High Court of Karnataka terms the 2016 draft notification as the final mandating 269 sqkm as eco-sensitive zone despite a further reduction to 169 sqkm in 2018. The court has upheld the order of 2016 reinforcing the eco-sensitive zone of BNP to 269 sqkm on 16th January 2020.
Banuprakash, an activist says that the BNP has always been a wildlife corridor for the elephants connecting BR Hills to Sathyamangalam forest and is inhabited by migrating animals. Mining activities around BNP has invaded the space needed for movement of animals thus disrupting their environmental equilibrium.
Prashanth Shankar, an RFO admitted knowledge about the court order and said that cooperation of all related governmental departments has been sought.
A N Yellappa Reddy an ex-IPS official and Chairman Bangalore Environment Trust reminisced on the region’s title as Gaja Aranaya terming elephants as the Kings of the Forest. He welcomed the new order claiming it to be favoring these sensitive animals who are subjected to noises from various activities which causes elephants to be violent. The forest officials need to implement the laws that have established for the wellbeing of wildlife despite political pressure seeking to serve commercial interests.