Karnataka govt to form panel to decide on lifting ban on eucalyptus plantation

PTI, Feb 22, 2024, 1:58 PM IST

Image: X/@MBPatil

The Karnataka government will constitute a high-level committee to decide whether to lift the ban on the Eucalyptus plantation or look for alternative ways to facilitate the revival of the Bhadravati MPM factory. According to an official statement on Thursday, a decision to this effect was taken at a meeting convened on Wednesday regarding the revival of Mysore Paper Mill Ltd (MPM).

The meeting was chaired by Large and Medium Industries Minister M B Patil at the Vidhansouda office. Forest Minister Ishwara Khandre and Bhadravati MLA Sangamesh also attended it. Ishwara Khandre said the forest department will form an experts committee today and it will be asked to submit a comprehensive report within a month.

Speaking after the meeting, the Minister explained, ”A total of 20,005 hectares of forest land has been given to Bhadravati Paper Factory in 2020 on a lease for 40 years, for growing eucalyptus. However, forest land cannot be granted without the central government’s permission. On the other hand, the factory cannot run without getting the required raw material. This catch situation needs to be resolved”.

MPM operation requires 10 lakh tonnes of raw material every year and currently only two lakh tonnes are available from the land given to the factory. Eucalyptus plantation is banned in the state. So, this has forced the concerned to explore a new option so that the factory can be revived, he said.

The government is considering allowing eucalyptus plantations in the surrounding districts of Shivamogga as well and the proposed committee will take a call on this, Patil added.

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