Construction activities pose threat to Nandi Hills

Construction activities pose threat to Nandi Hills

International airport at Devanahalli triggers real estate boom

The Nandi Hills, a witness to several historic events, is considered one of the prominent hill stations in South India. During the freedom struggle, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and other such famous personalities camped at the hill station that also has a fort constructed by Tipu Sultan.

There was not much demand for land near the Hills till Bengaluru International Airport came up at Devanahalli. The new airport has triggered a real estate boom and land developers have cashed in on the demand by buying residential plots in bulk, local residents said.
“Farmers too grabbed the opportunity. Impoverished by the vagaries of rain-dependent farming, they preferred to part with their land for handsome returns. Farmers at Erenahalli, Kuduvati, Angatta, Kuppahalli, Nandi and other places — all at the foot of the hills — have sold a total of 300 acres,” farmers’ leader Yaluvahalli Sonnegowda told Deccan Herald.
He said the construction activity may threaten the Gopinatha Hills and the forest area around the Nandi Hills.

Land developers sell houses for Rs 70 lakh to Rs one crore apiece. “Human habitations will certainly destroy the verdant beauty and the rare flora and fauna the Nandi Hills is home to. Consequently, the hill station will cease to be a tourist spot,” Venkatesh, a resident of Kuduvatti, said.

Environmentalists have pressed the State government to declare a radius of 10 kilometres around the Hills as green zone and prohibit all construction activities in the area.