Upper Bhadra Project: stir planned

Protests to be held in four districts

Staff Correspondent

DAVANGERE: An agitation has been planned in Chikmagalur, Shimoga, Davangere and Bellary districts to protest against the proposed Upper Bhadra Project. A committee of farmers under the chairmanship of Ram Narayan Joshi has organised a march from Gangamula in the Western Ghats to the four districts that will be affected by the project.

Leaders of farmers, environmentalists and irrigation experts are expected to take part in the agitation against the project, which is considered to be ill-conceived and will submerge over 20,000 acres of forests apart from huge coffee plantations.

Talking to presspersons here on Thursday, Mr. Joshi alleged that the Government is planning to implement the Upper Bhadra Project by the end of December this year. Administrative approval has been accorded for the project at a cost of Rs. 2,813 crores, he said. Besides forests and plantations, 14 villages including the noted pilgrimage centre of Horanadu will be submerged if the project is implemented, he said.

The committee has set a 15-day deadline for the Government to drop the project. If it fails to meet the deadline, the committee will mobilise people and stage demonstrations.

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