Karnataka Leader of Opposition Siddaramiah has demanded that the State government to withdraw its decision to hand over forest land in the Malnad region to private entities. He warns of protest if government fails to stop its decision. Siddharamiah's letter to Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, reads it is unfortunate that government is planning to handover forest land in the Malnad region to private agencies. About 20,000 hectares of forest land spread across Shivamogga, Chikkamagaluru and Uttara Kannada districts was supplying raw material to Mysuru Paper Mill in Bhadravathi of Shivamogga district.
The sudden decision by the government plan to give this land to private company, he said in the letter. Farmers, local people, activists, and writers from the Malnad region are opposed to the move. The move is also not acceptable as the government has not maintained transparency.
Opposition leader said that the government had given 20,000 hectares of forest land on lease for 40 years to Mysuru Paper Mill, but the unit had shut down many years ago. It was the government’s duty to hand over the land back to the forest department according to the agreement. Instead, the government is now giving it to a private company, he said.