BENGALURU: Wildlife activists have called for suspension of any development activities in the Shivaldappana Temple located inside the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. It is an isolated and remote temple located on a hillock that hardly sees any devotees or tourists.
The Lord Shiva temple is atop the Shivaldappana Betta near Uyyamballi village in the Sangam Range of this protected area. As the temple has one borewell, the temple authorities are proposing to increase the facilities and are making efforts to get one more sanctioned.
Wildlife activist Shankar said, “The temple already has a working borewell, but now they are planning for a second one. This might be an initial step to expand the temple. This is a cause for serious concern as it will affect both the habitat and the wildlife. Forest officials should curb such developments as this will open a Pandora’s box in the days to come.”
A temple staffer said they had submitted an application to the local gram panchayat for just a borewell. He added, “We are yet to take a decision on taking up development activities.”
Speaking to Express, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Cauvery Wildlife Division, V Yedukondalu said, “Till date, no permission has been given for another borewell for this temple. But we will look into the issue as it is inside a protected area.”
The Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary forms part of the notified Mysore Elephant Reserve which has 800-900 elephants. Further, this sanctuary provides a vital link between BRT Tiger Reserve and MM Hills in the south west, Bannerghatta National Park in the north and Cauvery North Wildlife Sanctuary in the north-east (Tamil Nadu).