Associations flay MUDA plan to expand Madikeri

Move would destroy cardamom, coffee plantations and paddy fields

Various organisations have opposed the Madikeri Urban Development Authority’s (MUDA) plan to expand the city by 22,000 acres in order to facilitate setting up of industries and accommodate more population.

The blueprint of the Madikeri city expansion project designed by Madikeri Urban Development Authority.

The organisations have complained that the expansion project would trouble the city dwellers in future.

Addressing media persons on Thursday, Major (Retired) B A Nanjappa representing Kodagu Welfare Development Association alleged the MUDA of having plans to expand picturesque and beautiful Madikeri city spread over 6,000 acres of land by destroying cardamom, coffee plantations and paddy fields.

“The MUDA has planned to utilise land surrounding Madikeri city, which includes 3,000 acres in Karnangeri, 1,100 acres in Karavale Badaga, 3,000 acres in Kalkeri Nidugane, 3,800 acres in Makkandur, 1,600 acres in Hebbettageri, 3,000 acres in Kadagadalu, 3,500 acres in Katakeri and 2,500 acres in Mekeri.

But the MUDA has failed to inform about the project to the villagers. The project details are documented in English and the CD consisting of the project details are priced at Rs 2,000, thus keeping the villagers in dark,” flayed Nanjappa.

Giving a call for the people to unite and fight to preserve the plantations, forest, streams and trees, he said a slight delay would lead to the destruction of lakhs of trees spread over 22,000 acres of land.

A day may come, when the people of Madikeri would face water shortage, he warned, adding that the closure of several streams and water falls due to the expansion project would also hit tourism. There is more possibility of the MUDA purchasing land from the villagers at low cost.

Postpone objection date

Nanjpappa urged the MUDA to postpone the last date for filing objections to the project. The MUDA has set November 30 as the deadline for submitting objections to the proposed project blueprint. The time frame set by the MUDA is not sufficient for the people to file their objections, hence it should be extended for three more months, he said.

He also requested the citizens to file objections in large number by forecasting the problems that expansion project is most likely to cause. The government should take the decision only after considering the public opinion. There is no necessity to move the things quickly, he said.

Coorg Wildlife Society Vice-President B A Poonacha, Kaveri Sene Convenor Ravi Chengappa, Gowramma Chinnappa from People’s Union for Civil Liberties  were present.

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