Staff Correspondent

Says mini-hydel projects will not serve the district and will ruin environment

Madikeri: The former Minister M.C. Nanaiah on Tuesday called upon the leaders of all political parties in Kodagu to be united to prevent setting up of mini hydel projects in the district.

Mr. Nanaiah told presspersons at Abbi Falls that Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. had identified over 200 mini hydel power projects in the State two decades ago, including 16 in Kodagu district. All of them were run-of-the-river projects.

This meant that no check dam or weir will be built to augment water. Electricity can be generated only during monsoon and not otherwise. The Abbi project envisaged construction of a check dam to augment water, which was against the proposed KPCL initiative, Mr. Nanaiah said.

He was not trying to put up obstacles for development in Kodagu but only expressing concern towards the perils of such projects on nature and man.

He refuted reports in a section of the press that the Cabinet Subcommittee had approved the mini hydel projects in Kodagu (during his tenure as Law Minister). Mr. Nanaiah said only feasibility reports on the Abbi project, four projects under the Barapole scheme, Chelavara and Irpu projects were submitted by the companies to KPCL. Sewage from Madikeri and water from the Kootupole Reservoir were the sources of Abbi Falls, he said.

Quoting the EDCL mini hydel project case at Harangi, Mr. Nanaiah asked whether the power generated there is being distributed in and around Kushalnagar as promised earlier by that company.