MADIKERI: It is almost two months since the flood disaster struck Kodagu. While the rehabilitation process for flood-affected people is on, there is a growing concern among travel and tourism industry stakeholders about a huge drop in tourists visiting Kodagu after the tragedy in August.
Most residents who do not depend on tourism are vociferously stating this is the right time to reduce tourism pressure on the district and take corrective measures to avoid further tragedies in the future. The tourism industry folks are leaving no stone unturned in their campaigning efforts to convince the world that all is well in Kodagu and it is a safe place to visit.
Kodagu Connect collected opinion of a cross-section of people from Kodagu and this is what they had to say.
India is a country of hamlets with more than 60 percent of the geographical area consisting of villages. But the scenario is changing. As the migration towards cities is on a rise due to factors like employment and quality of life, urbanisation is gaining pace.
But the question is, are our cities scientifically planned? Cities and towns are expanding at an alarming pace. Factories are coming up, commercial buildings are being built by converting agricultural lands and the number of vehicles on roads are increasing by the day. Traffic gridlocks, air pollution, sewage issue, shortage of drinking water, increasing crime rate, and mushrooming slums are part of the growth curve.
MADIKERI: According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), heavy rains have been forecast for the coastal and south interior districts of Karnataka including Kodagu over the weekend due to a low-pressure trough that is expected to form over Arabian Sea.
A low pressure is likely to concentrate into a depression and move north-westwards to form into a cyclone, the bulletin from IMD said.
Four districts of Karnataka – Chikkamagaluru, Hassan, Kodagu and Mysuru – received excess rainfall this year. Kodagu received the highest-ever daily rainfall when it recorded 300mm in a single day on August 17, 2018.
Neighbouring states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu are also likely to receive heavy rain due to the low-pressure effect.
With its unique wild habitat, Kodagu is home to several endemic species of medicinal plants. Over the years these plants have become the true backbones of a wide range of local health traditions and hundreds of home remedies.
With the introduction of Allopathy in Kodagu, indigenous use of medicinal plants has taken a serious beating over the years. Despite all the affinity for ‘English medicines’, even now for ailments like jaundice and herpes many people in Kodagu prefer herbal medicines because natural products are safe and free from side effects.
Aadhi Kaveri, Igguthappa Travels, Subrahmanya, Gafoor Travels, Gowhar Travels, Panchakshari… rings a bell? Well, these are the names of private buses in Kodagu of the yesteryears. All these are part of nostalgia now.
Over the last few decades, many of the iconic buses have ceased operations while some of them have changed their names and in some cases the routes have been cancelled.
In the 1980s, residents of Kodagu would know the time of day by looking at the names of these buses at a particular location. The iconic Subrahmanya Travels shuttling between Virajpet and Madikeri was a bus etched in the memory of senior citizens. Even now, they have fond stories to tell about the driver, conductor and cleaner of that particular bus which was operational till 1990.
‘Use and throw’ has become the mantra of modern-day consumerist world. Things are no different in Kodagu either. For the last 15 years, the garbage problem is on a rise in the district. Much of this credit goes to tourism boom.
Garbage issue which was first witnessed in Madikeri has now spread its tentacles all over the district. People from border areas of Kerala dumping waste in our reserve forests are not a new phenomenon anymore. If one visits Perumbadi and Makutta, we can understand the severity of this problem along the highway. In all the big and small towns garbage menace has become quite common. With no proper recycling measures in place, it is getting worse by the day.
MADIKERI: In a major reshuffle among the top brass of the Indian army, Lieutenant General Pattacheruvanda C Thimayya will take over as the 21st General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Army Training Command (ARTRAC) at Shimla from November 1, 2018. The incumbent Lieutenant General M M Naravane has been appointed the Eastern Army Commander at Kolkata.
A Mechanised Infantry Officer, commissioned in 1981, Thimayya has varied experiences at the Western and Eastern fronts. Besides commanding a Mechanised Infantry Brigade, he has commanded a strike RAPID division and has held important staff appointments at Integrated HQ of MoD (Army). Thimayya has also been a military observer with UN mission (Angola) and Defence Attache in Bangladesh. In 2016, he took over the command of Chetak Corps from Lieutenant General Ashwani Kumar.
Hailing from Kodagu, Thimayya is the son of Pattacheruvanda Chengappa and Gowru. He studied at Sainik School in Bhubaneshwar and later at National Defence Academy, Khadakvasla, Pune and Indian Military Academy, Dehra Dun.
He is married to Neena Thimayya and has two sons — Arjun who is serving the Indian Navy and Akshay, who is pursuing his Mass Communication studies.