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  • ‘Development projects will harm Kodagu’s ecology’

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    Up in arms:Activists protesting as part of the ‘Save Kodagu, Save Cauvery’ campaign at Kutta in Kodagu on Saturday.Special Arrangement

    Up in arms:Activists protesting as part of the ‘Save Kodagu, Save Cauvery’ campaign at Kutta in Kodagu on Saturday.Special Arrangement

    Activists from nearly 30 organisations hold Save Kodagu, Save Cauvery rally

    To draw public attention to the rapid ecological devastation of Kodagu brought about by development projects, scores of people staged a protest at Kutta as part of the ‘Save Kodagu, Save Cauvery’ campaign on Saturday.

    Activists and citizens from nearly 30 organisations and NGOs participated in it to stem the tide of what they described as the growing ecological destruction of Kodagu district, which is also the catchment area for the Cauvery.

    The activists assembled first at Ponnampet and were joined by others at Kutta, bordering Karnataka and Kerala where a rally was taken out. The highway was blocked for nearly an hour.

    The campaign had its share of critics who questioned the motives and rationale of the conclusions of the activists but the latter described them as misguided by vested interest groups.

    The crux of the issue revolves around new projects such as two railway lines that will link Kodagu or cut across the district, besides national highways.

    The rapid urbanisation of the region, besides indiscriminate tree felling under the guise of “development” has reduced the green cover of the district over the years, according to the activists.

    They have objected to the Mysuru-Kushalnagar railway line which is being bandied about as a market link for coffee growers of the district with the rest of India while the other railway line is the proposed link between Mysuru and Thalassery in Kerala which passes through some of the dense forests and elephant habitat. Col. C.P. Muthanna (retd) of Coorg Wildlife Society said such projects would only escalate human-animal conflict in Kodagu as these so-called development works would lead to habitat fragmentation, disturbance and destruction.

    The Save Kodagu, Save Cauvery campaign also highlighted the vanishing green cover in the district and linked to it depleting rainfall in the region since the last few years which has affected local agriculture.

    Being the catchment area for the Cauvery the forest cover had to be protected and if the river and its ecosystem was not saved, then nothing would survive, said the activists, pointing out that the river served as a source of drinking water to people in south Karnataka region, including Mysuru and Bengaluru.

    Reiterating that every hectare of land acquired for development projects in Kodagu would result in the felling of nearly 350 fully grown and mature trees, the activists said the extent of tree-felling and damage to the ecology could only be imagined as large swathes of land extending to hundreds of hectares were needed for such projects.

    source: http://www.thehindu.com / The Hindu / Home> National> Karnataka / by Special Correspondent / Mysuru – August 27th, 2017

 

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