Tuesday, April 1, 2014

State-wide protest to stop felling of trees

Karnataka Rajya Raith Sangha, Cauvery Sene, Basavanna Devaravana Samrakshana Trust have decided to stag state-wide protest against a project to supply power from Kaiga to Kozhikode (Kerala), which requires felling of thousands of trees.

Addressing the media persons here on Wednesday, Cauvery Sene founder convenor KA Ravi Chengappa said that to supply power from Kaiga to Kozhikode (Kerala) more than 5000 matured and 20,000 unmatured trees had been already fell down in Dubare Forest, Madikeri Division and Devmachi, Virajpet Division from last three months. Apart this, lakhs of trees in the 55 kms stretch of Kodagu will be felled (including in forest region) for the completion of project,” he added.

“Cutting of trees will severely affect the biodiversity of Kodagu and we have diced to stage 'Save Cauvery River Campaign' and 'Cauvery Bachao Andolan. To draw the attention of government, a protest will be staged on February 15 in front of Yelwala Power Grid Corporation,” he added.

He further alleged that when BJP Government was in power, the then Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa, Energy Minister Shobha Kharndlaje and Speaker KG Bopaiah gave permission for this long pending project. After Congress Government came to power, from last three months thousands of trees have been feel down.

He further alleged that 'Home Minister KJ George is showing special interest in the project. Hundreds of Police personnel from Hassan had come to the region, while cutting the trees, which was handled earlier by local police.

The felling of trees can be prevented by upgradation of existing 220 KV line (Mysore to Kerala, which passes through HD Kote); or
Electric polls can be set up at D-Line (Fire line) situated at Periyapatna-Kodagu border, or also by supplying power from underground, which is currently followed in North India.

Stating timber mafia, sand mining, forest mining is rampant in forest region of Kodagu, he alleged that Keralites are encroaching forest area in Kodagu and urged government to protect the biodiversity at  Cauvery basin region.  

“With cutting of large number of trees, there is serious threat to inflow of river cauvery. Thus, to save trees and environment, 'Cauvery Bachao Andolan,' and 'Save Cauvery River Campaign' will be held  in State, jointly by Basavanna Devaravana Samrakshana Trust, Cauvery Sene and Rajya Raitha Sangha,' he added. A protest will be staged on February 15 in front of Yelwala Power Grid Corporation, to draw the attention of government.

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