MoEF treads carefully to make Jog Falls perennial

MoEF has decided that its officials will visit the site, assess the project details and interact independently with locals of Sagar and Shivamogga.

MoEF treads carefully on project to make Jog Falls perennial
The future of the government’s proposal to make Jog Falls in Shivamogga district perennial will now be decided by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and the locals of the region.

MoEF has decided that its officials will visit the site, assess the project details and interact independently with locals of Sagar and Shivamogga. This is likely to put the government in a spot of bother as people in Sagar and Shivamogga are against the project, but the government is keen to go ahead.

At the last meeting of the MoEF’s expert appraisal committee for river and hydroelectric projects in Delhi in April, it deferred the proposal, saying it shall be reconsidered after submission of the site visit report by the sub-committee.

“We will collect ground details and interact with the locals. If we learn that they are not convinced with the proposal, the MoEF will have to rethink on it. We have learnt that many locals and forest department officials are not happy with the idea of making Jog Falls perennial. So we want to know the exact reason why. We want to know how the government has planned to make it perennial and what will be its consequences,” a committee member said.

Members of the Jog Falls Authority are waiting for an official communication from the MoEF on the dates for the team’s visit. They are trying to convince local residents and explain to them how the project will be useful for the district’s economy and tourism.

The team will visit the site in the coming days to collect baseline data of pre-monsoon and monsoon rains for at least two years (especially since there is no flow from November to June), the provision of minimum flow to be maintained throughout the year, detailed hydrology of Shravathy river, cascading effect of water drawal for the project, details of construction of retaining walls and its suitable alternatives, details of forest and non-forest land required for the project and wildlife clearances.

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