CHIKKAMAGALURU: The bright rays of development are yet to shine on two tiny hamlets of Mudigere taluk of Chikkamagaluru district. The Gowdlu tribals, who inhabit these settlements, don’t have access to roads, bridges, hospitals or schools and depend on a town that is 20km away for all their basic needs.
The two hamlets, Karle and Kalkodu Eechaluhole, fall under Samse Gram Panchayat. While Eechaluhole has just five families, Karle has 20. The two settlements, on the fringes of Kudremukh National Park, receive heavy rainfall during monsoon, which only aggravates their problems.
It was just last week that two youngsters from Karle had to reach their 70-year-old grandmother, who had fallen sick, to the nearest town, Kalasa. They made her sleep on a blanket, tied its ends to a bamboo stick and carried the makeshift stretcher on their shoulders for the entire 20 km to reach Kalasa. They walked through a narrow, kuccha path and over a temporary bridge, constructed from bamboo, to get her medical help.
The earlier bridge, which too was temporary but was constructed better, was washed away in the deluge of 2019. With no authorities coming to their help, the tribals have constructed the bridge on their own now. People from Eechaluhole too have to cross a tributary of the Bhadra river to reach Kalasa town. Since that bridge got washed away, they too have built a wooden foot bridge.
KP Naveen of Karle village said that it was not just the 75-year-old, but every ailing and elderly person has to be carried on shoulders to Kalasa. “We badly need road connectivity. Our situation is nightmarish during the rainy season,” he added.
Another resident, Prema, told The New Indian Express that they submitted memorandums on October 7 and 12 to Mudigere MLA MP Kumaraswamy, Lok Sabha member Shobha Karandlaje and Deputy Commissioner KN Ramesh, detailing their horrible living conditions. They also demanded a proper road and a permanent bridge.
‘Nod needed to develop hamlets’
When The New Indian Express contacted Assistant Commissioner Dr HL Nagaraj, he said since the hamlets fall in the national park region, the forest department has to give clearance for any development
work, including laying of roads, in the area. Kudremukh National Park Range Forest Officer Harish
said that all developmental activities are prohibited as the two hamlets are in the fringes of the protected area. He added that an exception can be made only by the Wildlife Board. Residents said officials have
not heeded to their requests.