‘Protect Fragile Ecology of Kodagu’ - The New Indian Express

‘Protect Fragile Ecology of Kodagu’

Published: 26th January 2014 07:47 AM

Last Updated: 26th January 2014 07:47 AM

The ecology of Kodagu is under serious threat due to development projects, unregulated urbanisation and invasive tourism. This was the view of experts at a seminar ‘Protection of Kodagu ecosystem to save Cauvery’ held in the city on Saturday.

Eminent personalities like Magsaysay Award-winning ‘Water Man of India’ Dr Rajendra Singh and others spoke about the need to sensitise the State government on ensuring that the fragile ecosystem of Kodagu is not torn apart.

Rapid urbanisation and development projects, like the Mysore-Khozikode 400 KV High Tension power line, four-lane highway to Kerala through Kodagu, four-lane highway through Kodagu connecting Mattanur airport to Mysore and Bangalore and rail link to Kushalnagar being extended to Kerala through Kodagu will have a severe impact on the ecology of the district, they said.

The experts also talked about the 55-km stretch that has been earmarked for the Mysore-Khozikode 400 KV power line. Around 2,000 trees were felled in just a 5-km stretch. In the remaining 50-km stretch, including 30-km of coffee plantations, at least 50,000 trees will be felled, they feared. 

The coffee estates are close to Devamachi reserve forests and the Nagarahole National Park.

The elephant menace in this area will become even more severe. This area in south Kodagu is also the catchment for Lakshmantheerta river which is the main water source for Mysore and an important tributary of Cauvery River. Such large-scale felling of trees in this area will definitely have an adverse effect on the water flow in the River. Land conversion for non-agricultural purposes and encroachment of sacred groves and river banks is contributing to severe stress on the environment.

Environmental activist B C Nanjappa urged the State government to stop encroachment and protect sacred groves.  He said any activity other than grazing should be prohibited in sacred groves.  Encroachments along the Cauvery river banks should be addressed urgently.

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