‘Need of hour is regimented planning’

Demanding that the investors’ meet organised by the government and the Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry specifically for Kodagu be scrapped, Col. C.P. Muthanna, president of the Coorg Wildlife Society, has said that the district has already been plagued by unchecked urbanisation.

Addressing presspersons here on Saturday, he said the district’s area was 4,102 sq. km and it was the major catchment area of the Cauvery. He said with unchecked and unplanned development, verdant environs of the Western Ghats would be destroyed, which would consequently affect the Cauvery.

“The government, along with FKCCI, has organised the investors’ meet without any prior discussion with the stakeholders. It is being said that memorandums of understanding for investment worth around Rs. 1,000 crore would be signed in a matter of an hour. This will result in mindless destruction of nature. If left unchecked, there will be no water left in the Cauvery. Nearly eight crore people depend on the Cauvery for drinking and irrigation needs,” he said.

He said G. Made Gowda, veteran politician from Mandya, had supported the cause and urged Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar to call off the meet. He said that people of Mandya were already facing water shortage. If the meet was held and investments in Kodagu came through, Cauvery waters would get depleted completely.

Col. Muthanna said the society supported recommendations of the Madhav Gadgil’s report on preserving the ecology of the Western Ghats. “The report is being reviewed. At least until then, there should be a cap on land conversion and development. Also, unless there is consensus among stakeholders, such meets should not be held,” he said. Srinivasa Raju from Nava Chetana Trust said Kodagu was an eco-sensitive area. He said the need of the hour was regimented development.