Proposal for railway line through Kodagu faces opposition

The Central government has granted an in-principle permission to prepare a detailed project report on a railway line to Kerala, passing through Kodagu.

The elected representatives and environmentalists, however, have opposed the plan and have decided to take a delegation to Union Railway Minister, who will visit Bengaluru on February 3. MLA K G Bopaiah will lead the delegation.

Loss of green cover

The environmental organisations have raised concern over the destruction of the thick forest cover for the proposed railway line. The proposed line passes through Mysuru, Piriyapattana, Titimati, Balele, Kutta, Manandadi, Kootuparambu and Talassery. The entire route is covered by hills and forests.

"Around 30,000 trees were cut earlier to provide a high tension line to Kerala. Also, a thick green cover is lost on the pretext of tourism and other development works. If the Central government decides to go ahead with laying the new railway line, another large portion of forest will be destroyed. Depletion of forests in the region will result in the shortage of rains," said the environmentalists.

MLA K G Bopaiah said that when an MP from Karnataka had questioned the proposal for the railway line, the Central government had clarified in the Parliament that there is no proposal for the Mysuru-Talassery railway line. "But, now, the Central government has asked both the states to implement the programme on the railway line, without disturbing the wildlife and forests," said the legislator. He said that he will oppose the line no matter what both the governments say.

Wildlife society members said, "Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has shown interest in the project and has asked the Railway Board to prepare an estimate. But, we will oppose the project at any cost."

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