If all goes as per plan, watching the Jog Falls up close may soon become a thrilling experience, minus the risk of climbing down a steep, winding path.
The Forest department has proposed a Rs 4.65-crore project to be implemented by the Karnataka Rural Infrastructure Development Limited, which will build a machine-operated cantilever watch tower. Visitors can take in the beauty of the world famous Jog Falls, the breathtaking valley of the Sharavathi river valley down below and the evergreen forests from the watch tower.
The three-storey watch tower will be supported by strong pillars on the steel cantilever mounted atop the hillock beside the British bungalow near Mavinagundi in Siddapur taluk.
The State government has permitted the spending of Rs 1.5 crore for the first phase of the project, claimed to be the first-of-its-kind in South India.
Once implemented, the cantilever can surge forward by 40 feet from its base point. One can see the Jog Falls on the left and the valley down below.
Bangalore-based company EO Engineering has conducted the soil testing for the project and the test has favoured the project. Work on the project is expected to begin soon.
Yathish Kumar, deputy conservator of forests of the Sirsi sub-division, told Deccan Herald that though Jog Falls is part of Shimoga district, it has close links with Uttara Kannada district. He expects that the project will be completed by the next monsoon.