Express Network Pvt Ltd | MADIKERI:
While farmers in Karnataka are upset with the Cauvery tribunalâ€™s verdict, Kerala has already started work on a dam across Barapole river at the cost of Rs 50 crore.
Cauvery Sene office bearers took the media to the spot to show evidence of Kerala governmentâ€™s â€žviolationâ€ of the Surpeme Court directions of November 15, 2006, which says no work should be taken which damages the ecology and wildlife in the forest area.
Baraploe enters Kerala through thick forests of Kodagu and if the dam comes up, a vast area of forest in Kodagu will be submerged. The proposed dam, which will be 180 feet high and 15 feet wide, is expected to generate 21 MW of power. The office of the Barapole Power Project is situated in Iyyankunnu village panchayat of Thalassery taluk of Kerala state.
Conveners of Cauvery Sene, Ravi Chengappa and Ratna Karumbaiah giving details about the project, said the Karnataka government was sleeping over this issue.
It was also reported that a forest official from Brahmagiri wild life area had objected to the dam but work is in progress.Chengappa and Karumbaiah said if the Karnataka government did not take immediate action, Cauvery Sene will appeal to the Supreme Court and environmentalists will also start an agitation in Kodagu to stop the work.
The Coorg Wild Life Society has approached the Supreme Court through the Central Empowerment Committee and brought a stay on the work. When contacted, president Coorg Wild Life Society, retired Colonel CP Muthanna said he is aware of things going on in that area and wrote to the forest department.
He said he will also inform his advocate to prepare papers to approach the Central Empowering Committee (CEC) and see that the work is stopped immediately.
He also said the Kerala government was instructed by the CEC to avoid submersion and limit the height of the dam but from information available, it seems these guidelines are being violated.