K.A. Ravi Chengappa, principal convener of Cauvery Sene, was speaking at a seminar on ‘Save Cauvery’, organised by the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene at Gandhi Bhavan in Mandya.

Criticising Defence Minister A.K. Antony and State Home Minister K.J. George for their “anti-Kodagu” measures, K.A. Ravi Chengappa, principal convener of Cauvery Sene, on Thursday called upon the people of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to participate in a Save Kodagu campaign, beginning on February 24.

He was speaking at a seminar on ‘Save Cauvery’, organised by the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha and Hasiru Sene at Gandhi Bhavan here on Thursday.

Mr. Chengappa alleged that the two Ministers were supporting the 400 kV high-tension power line project from Mysore to Kozhikode in Kerala via Kodagu. He said that if work was taken up it would destroy the ecological system in Kodagu. Work had begun on the project amid protests. Nearly 1 lakh trees in the catchments of Lakshmanathirtha and a few rivulets of the Cauvery would have to be axed to make way for the transmission line. Already 50,000 trees worth Rs. 350 crore, around 150 years old, had been axed, he said.

The authorities could have considered the existing routes to reduce the damage to the forests, he said.

‘Disastrous’

Alleging that the timber and land mafia was destroying forests, Cauvery Sene leader B.C. Nanjappa, who inaugurated the seminar, said the project would be disastrous for the people and for Kodagu district.

Resorts, tourism projects, development projects and sand extraction along the Cauvery and its rivulets had had a devastating impact on the ecological system in Kodagu, he said.

KRRS leader K.S. Nanjunde Gowda also requested the authorities concerned to take measures to protect forests.

Sene activist Ravindra Karyappa, KRRS leaders Nandini Jayaram, Shanbhunahalli Suresh and Konasale Narasaraju and zilla panchayat member Kempoo Gowda were present.

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