BENGALURU : During the last few days of his tenure, former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa approved the proposal chalked out by the Jog Falls Management Authority and the Shivamogga district administration to attract more tourists to the destination.
According to the proposal, Rs 185 crore will be spent in three phases on a series of concrete and civil works in and around the waterfalls. The proposal, created in May 2021, and approved in July 2021, has not gone down well with many officials of the tourism department, who are also a part of the Jog Management Committee. Locals and conservationists have also strongly opposed it.
In the proposal, a copy of which is available with The New Indian Express, shows the installation of a ropeway, a Sharavathi idol and creation of a main entrance, children and science museum, a main- view point, canteen and resting place, peripheral and intermittent roads, walkways, administrative department, desk stations, security guard rooms, special parking facilities, trolley rooms and trolleys, creation of quarters, boating and water sports, museum, homestays, undertaking electrical works all along the walkways and lighting works at the waterfalls.
“The plan lists out many unwanted constructions, which will concretise the whole place. It is not required. The place is already overstressed because of rampant increase in footfall. It is also shocking that only last year, the committee was planning to create a Rs 165 crore proposal, which has increased now,” said a tourism department official, seeking anonymity.
Members of Karnataka Biodiversity Board have strongly voiced their opinion against taking up any more works in Shivamogga, as the region faces severe threat of landslides and ecosystem destruction.
Officials from Karnataka forest department pointed out, “Even as the committee members state that the ropeways will be in non-forest land, they are failing to recognise the fact that the other end is bound to be in forest land. The plan is to build a ropeway through the falls. It’s a wasteful expenditure. Illuminating the falls at night has already been strongly opposed.”