Friday, December 9, 2011

Mysore beetle leaves may soon become extinct

The famous 'Mysore Veelyadele' (Beetle leaf) having a history spanning several decades, might soon become extinct going by the way things are happening at the place where its grown in city.

A waste water drain which flows across the ?Yele Thota? and which is the only source of water for the beetle leaf growers is fast becoming polluted. Medical waste from a nearby private hospital has found its way into drain and as a result the creepers have started to wither. The farmers fear that if the authorities fail to stop the medical waste from entering the drain, then the creepers will die.

Sixty-seven year-old Channamayigayi of Nachanahalli said the medical waste generated by the hospital is getting mixed with the drainage which begins to flow from Agrahara and passes through Yelethota farms before reaching Dalvoy Lake. The drain carries with it several kinds of garbage including medical wastes like discarded bandages, cotton swabs. Its an eyesore to see these wastes floating, he said.

He said the pollution has largely affected in its yield and because of which most of the cultivators have stopped growing beetle leaves and have switched over to coconut and arecanut. Though the incident of the drain being polluted by the hospital was brought to the notice of the Corporation several times, no help has come our way, he rued.

Another cultivator Basavaraj said there were attempts to grab their lands by bringing pressure from politicians. He requested
the Horticulture Department to protect the farms.

However, District Health Officer Mallegowda said there is no threat to the beetle farms as the medical waste is let into the drain only after chlorination.

Speaking to Express, President of Nalwadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar Welfare Association C Chidambar said that 'Wayback in 1968 the beetle leaf crop was completely destroyed for which compensation was provided by the Governemnt after six long years in the year 1974.

While only a couple of cultivators received the compensation, most of the remaining completely gave up the cultivation seeking other jobs. Now, again the crop is under threat of being completely wiped out if no urgent measures are taken to to protect it,' he added.

About Yelethota
The legend has it that the Yelethota was gifted by the then rulers of the Mysore Royal family to a dozen families
exclusively to cultivate beetle leaves. In those days it was a tradition for the members of the royal family to offer
beetle leaves to all those who visited the Palace. It was also used symbolically to invite an enemy ruler for war as
was popularly called offering 'Rana Veelye'.

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