Water woes | Don’t issue NOCs for commercial land conversion in Kodagu district, ask environmentalists 

Kodagu is the principal catchment of the Cauvery that provides 70% of water to Bengaluru

Updated - March 26, 2024 01:32 pm IST

Published - March 25, 2024 09:06 pm IST - Bengaluru:

Environmentalists have said that one of the reasons for the water shortage in Bengaluru is the rampant and unchecked commercial land conversions and urbanisation of Kodagu.

Environmentalists have said that one of the reasons for the water shortage in Bengaluru is the rampant and unchecked commercial land conversions and urbanisation of Kodagu. | Photo Credit: file photo

The Save Kodagu and Cauvery Campaign has said that one of the reasons for the water shortage in Bengaluru is the rampant and unchecked commercial land conversions and urbanisation of Kodagu, and argued against giving No Objection Certificates (NOCs) for such conversions in the district that is the birthplace of the river.

Col C.P. Muthanna (retd), coordinator, speaking at a press conference here, said that Kodagu is the principal catchment of the Cauvery that provides 70% of water to 130 lakh Bengalureans.

Role of GPs

“Gram panchayats should not issue NOCs for land conversions for commercial purposes. Our legislators should urge Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to issue strict directions against land conversions. This should be followed by placing a moratorium on further expansion of Bengaluru city,” Col. Muthanna said.

He added that if there was a continuous growth of Bengaluru and the destruction of Kodagu’s landscape, it would be a classic case of burning the candle at both ends.

“The Cauvery is the lifeline not only of Bengaluru, but also for the farmers of Mandya and the people of Mysuru,” he added.

Impact of commercialisation

He said that if the present trend of commercial conversions continue in Kodagu, then within a few years, Gonikoppal, Ponnampet, and Virajpet will become a single large city like Mysuru. In North Kodagu, Madikeri. Kushalnagar, and Somwarpet will become likewise.

“If we have two Mysuru-sized cities in Kodagu, then all the Cauvery water will be required within Kodagu and the 70% of water supply to Bengaluru will be cut off,” he said.

Increasing population

He also said that if the population of Kodagu increases from its present six lakh to 10 lakh or more, owing to proliferation of layouts and colonies, and in case there is a failure of rains in the district resulting in drought conditions and water shortage, then the government can invoke the National Disaster Act.

“The government can invoke the Act by which the borewells and water tanks of coffee growers across Kodagu can be seized and we will not be permitted to carry out any irrigation in the district which will result in coffee yield reducing drastically,” he said.

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