The ninth conservation talk organised by Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens on the topic ‘Water is the Product of Forest’ was held at the Mysore zoo auditorium in city yesterday evening.

The talk was delivered by A.N. Yellappa Reddy, Hon. Member, High Court, Legal Services Committee, Bangalore.

Speaking on the topic, Yellappa Reddy said that when one thinks of forests, we think only of wild animals in it but we forget the thick vegetation which plays an important role in the storage and supply of water.

Yellappa Reddy said: “Forests play an important role in maintaining the ecological security of the country. However, in recent years, due to increase in demand for fresh water and its non availability during summer which makes it important for continuous supply of water to the people. But all that depends on how well we maintain our forests”

He said that, today, water supplies are met either through engineered water transfer or over draft of underground water supplies and added that it is imperative to conserve rocky areas in the State from B.R. Hills in Chamarajanagar district to Hampi in Bellary district as they are also considered as ‘oldest granite rock system’ and also at Chitradurga and Holenarsipura.

He regretted that mining and logging has drastically affected the water supplies because the mountain slopes which are called ‘water towers’ or rocky surfaces which had weather rocks, faults or fractures which used to generate more run off and less escape of water to the atmosphere were being mined which may lead to disaster.

He said that a healthy forest produces the most water and the best water and added that herbs like magadi beru (used in preparing pickles) and sogade beru, grown on rocky surfaces, play a bigger role in the conservation of environment, by facilitating percolation of rain water.

He said that geo-bio-hydro Science based forest restoration and management is the need of the century.

Terming trees as mini dams, which trap water immensely, contributing to the ecosystem, Yellappa Reddy said that whenever there is a decision involving trees, in the name of development, cutting trees should be the last option, he stressed.

Speaking of conserving the forests, he said that policies has to be framed around eco system, health-oriented towards water shed function instead of dolling out forest for individual or industrial oriented mining.

Taking serious concern on high nitrate contents in water, he said that high nitrate was becoming a serious concern because of three major culprits which are fertilizers, septic tanks and untreated sewage water which is being let into the water bodies.

About 100 people, including Mysore Zoo Executive Director B.P. Ravi, Manager Shivanna and others were present.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore