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.
MADIKERI: Kerala’s fourth international airport, at Kannur, is expected to boost tourism in Kodagu. The airport located in Mattannur, just 58 km from Virajpet and about 90 km from Madikeri, will soon open for commercial operations. With the National Highway Authority of India planning to convert the road into a national highway, the travelling time will be reduced further.
In an interview with Kodagu Connect, V Thulasidas, Managing Director, Kannur International Airport, says increase in inbound tourists and export opportunities will improve the socio-economic conditions of Kodagu district.
There are not enough adjectives to explain the enchanting beauty of Kodagu, the tiniest district in Karnataka. Thanks to its exquisiteness, Kodagu has been seeing a tourism boom from the last two decades. As a result, too many home stays and resorts have sprung up across the district. The upgradation of Mysuru-Bantwal state highway 9 (now NH 275) a decade back saw mass flow of tourists into Kodagu from Bengaluru. With more than 15 lakhs tourists visiting Kodagu every year, the ecology of this district is under immense pressure.
An important point to be noted here is that many original inhabitants of Kodagu migrated to metros and some moved abroad. Those who purchased land here started to see monetary benefits from all nook and corners after their acquisition. As a result, many unauthorised structures were built to lure the tourists.
Increased footfall of tourists resulted in a surge of income for people who are directly or indirectly depending on tourism. On the other hand, natural resources of the district took a beating. With sustained pressure on resources to fulfil the need of visitors, the quality of these resources deteriorated.
MADIKERI: Other than causing huge loss in terms of infrastructure, property and crops, the recent floods and landslides in Kodagu have led to indirect losses that are long-term and complex. For example, these landslides have brought significant sediment load in the drainage channels and connected water reservoirs
One such impacted reservoir is the Harangi dam, which is located close to the northern affected areas near Kushalnagar. Using pre-landslides and post-landslide open source satellite images and advanced GIS image processing, WRI India generated map showing Total Suspended Solid (TSS) concentration within the Harangi reservoir has increased by almost 100 times due to flow of increased load of soil and sediment within the reservoir. It is believed such high load of soil and sediment inflow causes sedimentation within the reservoir and thereby significantly reduces the water holding capacity of the dam.
Silting is a natural hydrological and sedimentological process in which sediments flowing from the upstream catchment area get deposited in the reservoir.
MADIKERI: A month after Kodagu was devastated by unprecedented floods and landslides, questions are being asked about what could have led to the worst natural disaster to strike the tiny district in Karnataka in decades.
While rampant deforestation in the name of tourism has been blamed primarily for the tragedy, experts state there are other reasons that could have contributed to the calamity.
In this article, we look at some of the possible causes that led to the widespread disaster.
“The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” These are the words of Mahatma Gandhi. This saying should enlighten us, but unfortunately that is not the case.
When humans originated on this planet, their demands were confined to food, shelter and clothes. As the time passed, demands of humans increased manifold. Today, in this modern era, or to put it more meaningfully, in this consumerist world, his demands have skyrocketed.
In the 18th century, industrialisation was triggered in England and soon it spread across other European countries. In the early 19th century, industrialisation spread to Asia, South America and Australia. If we confine our discussion only to the Indian context, industrialisation gained pace after independence. Industries need basic infrastructure like uninterrupted power supply, all-season roads, good communication facilities, railway connectivity, airports, seaports, and inland water ways among many others.
MADIKERI: The Kodagu district administration has lifted the ban on entry of tourists to the flood-affected Kodagu from September 10. Rescue-cum-relief operations are going on in full swing in the district, which is reeling under rain havoc caused in the third week of August.
However, tourists are not allowed to visit Abbey Falls, Mandalpatti and Tadiyandamol as the road repair work is under progress.
Earlier, Deputy Commissioner P I Sreevidya had prohibited tourists from staying in hotels, resorts, home stays, guest houses and other private lodges and boarding homes till September 9.
“The re-construction and re-building of the affected areas and damaged roads are in progress and since rains have reduced considerably from the last five days, it has been decided not to further extend the ban,” the order stated.
A copy of the circular has been forwarded to Kodagu District Hotel and Resort Owners Association and Kodagu District Home Stays Association.