'Declare Kodagu district eco-sensitive zone'

The entire Kodagu district should be declared as eco-sensitive zone, said Coorg Wildlife Society president Col (retd) C P Muthanna.

Speaking at an interaction with various organisations on conservation of environment here on Wednesday, he said, “River Cauvery is the lifeline of entire South India. Around 8 crore people are dependent on the river, which also supports more than 600 industries. With the increase in attack on environment, River Cauvery is drying up. To prevent this, the entire district should be declared as ecosensitive zone.”

Land conversion

He added that in the name of urbanisation, about 2,800-acre land has been converted for commercial purpose in the last 10 years in the district. “There is a need to arrest the opening of new layouts, resorts, homestay, construction of railway lines and illegal sand extraction. About 54,000 trees were felled to lay high tension line to Kerala,” the colonel reminded.

He said permission should not be given for the setting up of new resorts in the district. The construction of a mini aerodrome and a cricket stadium in the district would be opposed by the Coorg Wildlife Society. The society will also oppose any move to divert the Kongana river.

Stating that the laying of the Mysuru-Kushalnagar railway line will affect the ecology of the region, he said infiltrators from Bangladesh earlier used to arrive in the district in buses. With the introduction of train services, they will arrive on trains.

Air Marshal (retd) Nanda Cariappa said there is a need to conserve land and environment for future generation. “The land is not being converted for commercial purpose in Kerala, however, the land is being converted for commercial purpose indiscriminately in Kodagu district,” he concurred and added that there has been a rise in wild animals-man conflict in the district.

He expressed concern over tigers entering human habitations in the district.

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