MADIKERI: In April this year, retired Deputy Director-General of Geological Survey of India (GSI), Dr. H.S.M. Prakash had predicted that the devastating natural calamity that rocked Kodagu and Kerala last year will haunt these regions again this year.
Dr. Prakash emphasises that he is not proud his predictions came true but hopes we can work towards mitigating the impact of landslides.
Underscoring the importance of studying the phenomenon, in an exclusive email interview with Kodagu Connect, Dr. Prakash urges weathermen to become climate scientists and analyse paleoclimate in particular to understand the whole gamut of events all over the globe.
Unstable coffee market, low prices for black pepper, floods, pending rehabilitation of 2018 landslide victims… people of Kodagu have been going through a harrowing time for the last few years and all that was required from the Yediyurappa government was an assurance saying ‘we are with you’ during the cabinet expansion yesterday. Unfortunately, by not giving any ministerial representation to Kodagu, the new state government has dealt a blow to the aspirations of the people of the district.
Kodagu has been a stronghold of BJP for the last few decades. While Madikeri MLA Appachu Ranjan has been a legislator for five terms, for Virajpet MLA K G Bopaiah this is the fourth term. So, when the Yediyurappa cabinet was expanded yesterday it came as a surprise to the people of Kodagu that none of its two MLAs were made ministers.
I was born in Madikeri. Having spent a good number of my initial years as a student in the district headquarters of Kodagu, I moved out of town in search of good education and suitable employment.
Having said that, I have never been able to detach my bond with this charming hill station and capital of Kodagu. The joy of coming back to this breathtaking view is hard to explain.
Considered by me as one of the most beautiful places on earth, I simply feel invigorated and uplifted the minute I step into Madikeri. As soon as the KSRTC bus touches Chain Gate from Kushalnagar side or Thalathmane from Sullia side, I am overwhelmed by the freshness of the air I breathe.
Best wishes on being named candidates for BJP (Pratap Simha) and Congress-JD-S (C H Vijayshankar) combine for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Mysuru-Kodagu Lok Sabha constituency. As you would know, Kodagu and Mysuru are two different regions having different necessities, requirements and even goals.
We, at Kodagu Connect, asked our readers to list out their expectations from the new Member of Parliament who will represent them from 2019 till 2024. Here are some of the issues which were raised by them.
Thanks to its tourism tag, Kodagu has undergone development way beyond its carrying capacity. Resorts, hotels and commercial construction activities are on the rise by converting agricultural land into commercial use. Rules are being flouted and norms ignored threatening the fragile ecosystem of the district. Some reports claim around 2,800 acres of land were converted for commercial purposes in last 10 years in Kodagu. Strict rules and regulations are needed to contain this menace so that environment of district is protected.
Kodagu is not only known for its natural beauty and hospitality but also for its cultural diversity. The district is home to people with different cultures and rituals. That is why Kodagu definitely has a place in the cultural map of India.
Even though we have a very rich and prosperous cultural heritage, we lag far behind in showcasing that to the outside world. The truth is that very few cultural programmes take place in Kodagu. One thing I want to make clear here is by mentioning cultural programmes, I am referring to pure classical dance or music, and not dancing to filmy or DJ music.
Economic development mainly depends on proper infrastructure. The availability of good infrastructure attracts entrepreneurs and investment. Not only for industrial sector, even for agricultural and service sector growth, infrastructure is very essential. All-season roads, uninterrupted power supply, good and efficient communication facility, proper health care facilities, provision of clean and pure drinking water facilities etc. play an important role in development. Investment in infrastructure builds human resource potentialities.
Are the people of Kodagu suffering from not-so-great infrastructure facilities? Yes, without doubt. But Kodagu has a complex problem. Often in the process of developing infrastructure nature gets a hit. Kodagu which is part of Western Ghat range is facing numerous hindrances in this aspect. As we all know, the only national highway which passes through our district is National Highway 275 which connects Mysuru with Mangaluru.
A few days back Karnataka government unveiled a proposal to construct a 125-feet tall statue of ‘Mother Kaveri’ at Brindavan Gardens in Krishna Raja Sagar reservoir near Mysuru at a cost of Rs 1,200 crores. The state government has claimed the statue will be a tribute to the river that is often called ‘mother’.
People of Kodagu are not happy with the announcement at this point of time when the district is yet to come to terms with the massive floods and landslides. Rehabilitation is going on at a slow place in the land of River Kaveri.