BENGALURU: With state government knocking all possible doors including the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) and the Centre to get clearance for the Mekedatu project, many tourists and staffers working with hotels and resorts along the river are against the government’s decision.
They fear that the construction of the dam will submerge most of the holiday spots, including those of Jungle Lodges and Resorts’ Bheemeshwari and Galibore fishing camps. Rafting in the river will also be threatened. The staffers working in JLR and Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) told TNIE: “Once the dam is constructed, most parts of the government properties will be submerged. Ironically, while the private resorts are raising objections, we are unable to say or do anything as we are a government agency.”
The tourists, visiting the JLR and private resorts, have also started to object the government’s decision of constructing a dam at Mekedatu. “Instead of protecting the riverine and lives of people, the government is bringing more destruction. Prime activities like trekking along the river, rafting, boating will be stopped,” said a Shardha P, a tourist to Bheemeshwari Nature Camp.
A field guide of JLR, on condition of anonymity, said: “Some days back, a team of officials came to see the place on the pretext of holidaying. We were told most of the rooms will have to closed as they will be submerged. We in fact showed them the elephant paths, the river tern and crocodile breeding points asking them not to take the project ahead, but to little avail.”
However, foresters said they have not yet received any proposal. “No request has been made for land. We know there will be submersion and conservation activities will be affected. We are aware that properties of JLR will be submerged and this will have a multi-dimensional impact,” said a senior forest department official.