MADIKERI: Environment and Health Foundation and Kodagu Rakshana Vedike members urged the residents to unite and fight against the alleged illegal land conversions for commercial purposes in Kodagu to protect the district’s ecosystem.
“Amid the Cauvery dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, no one is ready to understand the reality from an in-depth perspective. While the high court had clearly stated that the DC cannot issue a No Objection Certificate for land conversions, it is being done illegally,” alleged Col (retd) Muthanna, president of the Environment and Health Foundation. Quoting the Indian Institute of Science Technology scientist, Ramachandra, he said, “If land conversions continue in Kodagu, Cauvery will dry out soon,” and that eight crore people will suffer.
Citing instances of several land conversions for commercial layouts and resort purposes, he said, “We are examining the documents of these sites, and will move court. The residents should not invest in such illegal commercial buildings and layouts, and instead unite and fight against the illegal land conversions.” The forum members blamed gram panchayat corruption for the illegal construction of resorts in eco-sensitive areas and said these facts would be presented before the court soon.
The members confirmed they have filed RTIs in several cases. Kodagu Rakshana Vedike Kedakal vice-president Gopinath, Kedakal gram panchayat president Shivashankar, and others were present.