The Union Government earlier had refused to regularise the grant of forest land to Rani Channamma University (RCU) and hence the RCU has now been forced to move out of its present location at Bhutramanhatti next to NH 4.
The Centrally-appointed Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) had pulled up the State government for ‘converting’ a reserve forest to gomala (Gomala lands or Gobhumi are pasture lands set apart in a village for grazing purposes)land in Belagavi.
The recommendations by the 7-member FAC, which comprises officials from Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Ministry of Agriculture, and ecologists, was delivered during an application by the State government for permission to divert nearly 178.35 acre of forest land for establishment of Rani Channamma University at Bhutaramanahatti village.
The State government sanctioned forest land to the off-site campus of the university in 1990. But the Union government has refused to regularise the transfer.
In 2018, the Centre issued an ultimatum to the State government to shift the campus outside the forest area.
At the university’s convocation in 2018, then vice-chancellor Shivanand Hosmani regretted that he could not get the Centre’s approval for the land grant.
New vice-chancellor M. Ramachandra Gowda V-C has requested the grant of 207 acres and 16 guntas of land to the university.
DC Bommanahalli has instructed officials to inspect the proposed sites in Bagewadi and Halagimaradi villages in Belagavi taluk which has 127 acres and 7 guntas of government, and 80 acres and nine guntas of private land.