Greens oppose hydel projects in Western Ghats

They staged a dharna in front of DCs Office in Hassan

The protesters alleged that M/s Maruti Power Generation Company had taken up commissioning of two mini-hydel projects at Kaginale Reserve Forest Range which was against the rules set by the forest department.

Addressing the protesters, Samithi chief Kishorekumar said the company had been allotted 8.33 hectares of forest land by the government. But the company had allegedly destroyed around 50 acres of forest land by cutting trees. Moreover, the use of explosives for digging tunnel was affecting wild animals. The elephants and other wild animals were coming out forests and raiding villages in search of food and water. The use of explosives inside the forest is banned, he added.

Hemmige Mohan, another activist, condemned the double standard of the government on the issue of environment. On the one hand the government had given permission to setup hydel projects in forests and on the other hand it was taking up massive tree plantation under the Social Forestry scheme by spending lakhs of rupees.

He claimed that a mafia was behind deforestation activities and indulged in grabbing fertile horticulture and forest department land in various parts of the State. The Government would be held responsible for damage and destruction done to the Western Ghats, he warned.  BJP leader Ballu Gopal urged the people of the region to fight tooth and nail against the hydel projects and other schemes of the government which would affect the flora and fauna. Members of various associations, C N Ashok, Suresh Guruji, Mubasheer Ahmed and Siddegowda led the protest.

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