Karnataka forest dept purchases SUVs to cater to villages bordering MM Hills Wildlife Sanctuary
Life has been a rickety ride for the people in 15-odd villages bordering the MM Hills Wildlife Sanctuary in the Chamrajnagar district of Karnataka where young and old alike would have to trek 5-6 km along the treacherous terrains to reach markets or schools. But things are changing for the better.
The Karnataka state forest department has procured four new Force Gurkha SUVs to cater to the 15 villages as part of ‘Jana-Vana Sethuve’ initiative started June 18. The department believes that the initiative would ease the hardships of the people especially in case of medical emergencies when patients were otherwise carried on shoulders for four kilometers before shifting them to an ambulance.
V Yedukondalu, deputy conservator of forest of MM Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, told The Indian Express, “I have been serving this area for quite some time. So I am familiar with the problems the villagers face due to lack of basic infrastructure. A pregnant woman is carried on shoulders since there is no ambulance facility and students have to walk long distances due to unavailability of transport services. We have finalised the routes. So I wrote to deputy commissioner of Chamarajanagar, Charulatha Somal, who agreed to provide us with the vehicles.”
The six-seater multi-purpose vehicles will be maintained by the forest department. They will act as ambulance, school bus, ration vehicle and conveyance vehicle for remote enclosure villages.
However, laying of asphalted roads within the forest areas is not permitted.
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