Four-laning project draws opposition from greens

Four-laning project draws opposition from greens

National Highway 275 passing through Madikeri and Kushalnagar.

Environmentalists have expressed their objection to the four-laning of Mysuru-Bantwal National Highway 275 passing through Kodagu.

The greens fear that the project will be a threat to the rich flora and fauna of Kodagu. 

A forum with the name ‘Kodagu Maaraka Yojane Virodhi Samiti’ has also come into existence to oppose the project.

MP Pratap Simha had informed that a special officer and a supervising engineer have been appointed for the land acquisition and road widening respectively.

An exclusive office towards the project will be inaugurated on December 10 and all works are on for implementing the project, amid stiff opposition from the local residents.

Kodagu Wildlife Association president C P Muttanna said that the upgrading of the road from Ilavala (Mysuru)-Hunsur-Piriyapattanna-Kushalnagar-Madikeri will result in the destruction of hills along the stretch.

“The coffee plantations will vanish and the massive deforestation will leave drastic impacts on the climate of the district. Landslides are likely to occur,” he said. 

He further said that a small district like Kodagu would not withstand the threat of too many development projects. In fact, 5,400 trees were felled for the Mysuru-Kozhikode 400 KV high tension power line in 2015. Since then, the district had been witnessing either excess rain or drought like-situation, said Muttanna.

Elephant-human conflict is also on the rise. Therefore, the projects which are detrimental to the environment should be shelved. The norms say that the road can be upgraded to four-lane only if there is a daily traffic of 10,000 vehicles per day. But the Madikeri-Kushalnagar Road does not have so much traffic. There is a hidden agenda behind the project. Currently, there is a 22 feet wide road in Madikeri, he added. 

The new project intends to widen the Kushalnagar-Suntikoppa Road to 220 feet and Suntikoppa-Madikeri Road to 140 feet. Wild animals will be affected by the implementation of the project and there are more disadvantages than advantages, said environmentalists.