Coorg: Karnataka’s water tap

Coorg is the fastest growing tourism destination in Karnataka. Year after Year more and more people are getting inquisitive about Coorg and visiting the place. Many new hotels, homestays and resorts are cropping up.

Though coorg has one of the worst infrastructure compared to the other tourist desitnations in Karnataka, still visitors flow into Coorg every year.

But should the locals be happy about it? Is tourism a boon?

Coorg Wildlife Society has already shown concern, bringing to notice the rampant conversion of agricultural land for commercial and residential purposes, encroachment of forest land,rampant felling of the trees and illegal settlements by migrants from the neighbouring state.

Plus, ethnically the Kodava’s are committing suicide by moving out of Coorg or selling their land to outsiders, but the matter does not end here. For those who remain in coorg, should know that Coorg is also the source of river cauvery. The catchment area of river cauvery.

The politicians sitting in vidhan soudha and the babu’s in bangalore, better take notice.
Bangalore, mysore and mandya itself are expanding phenomenally. All are going to require a lot more more to satisfy the thrist of the new millions of citizens.

If the ecological balance in Coorg is disturbed, it is going to be disastrous. Already governments of  Karnataka and Tamilnadu are at loggerheads on sharing cauvery water.
Has kodagu(Coorg) ever rang a bell in their heads ? What if the “Tap dries out” ?.  Only the protection of Coorg forests will stop that from happening.

The reason Coorg has become a popular tourist destination is because it is beautiful, still pristine and the kodava’s are a hospitable lot.
But for how long will it be so?. Now, outsiders are coming and setting up homestays, hotels and resorts just because they want to tap into the developing tourism market. But will they feel about Coorg the same way, as the locals?

Out of all the commercial establishments in Coorg i know of, only Orange County in Coorg has implemented a solid waste management programme. Being localities, the ramapuram family owned business has clearly shown a commitment towards helping to preserve the environment of Coorg.

The locals should know that hospitable does not mean ignoring the ground realities and being a mute spectator to the happenings around.

They should pull up their socks and be proactive in protecting the environment and resources of Coorg. If you see illegal encroachment of forest land, illegal settlements and illegal activities in Coorg, better be steadfast and bring it to the notice of the local authorities.

Tourism in Coorg is fine. But the locals should understand that unlike Ooty, Coorg has an agrarian economy and which will always preside over tourism. The topography, the weather and the infrastructure issues of Coorg will allow tourism in Coorg to flourish only till a certain limit.

The Govt should start proactively protecting the environment of Coorg. That will assure that water and other resources are there f0r long enough to sustain the thirst of the farmers and city dwellers in Karnataka.

And if rain gods are not happy with Coorg, the first one’s to suffer will be the locals. No sooner, bangalore will go thristy.

Let the Karnataka’s Tap not run dry.

6 thoughts on “Coorg: Karnataka’s water tap

  1. Tim

    Tourism is fine. But not at the cost of environment.
    What you are pointing out here is a ecological issue, in which not only the tourism sector should be blamed. What about people expanding their plantations? or new farmland being sanctioned by the Govt ?. Illegal encroachment is another matter that the State Govt is overlooking. There Akrama-Sakrama rule should never be applicable to Kodagu.
    Reserve forests need special protection.

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  2. Ambrish Jha

    I do not why there is so much frenzy in India about outsiders and snatching local’s jobs and all these stuff. We are living in a gloabalized world. This is bound to happen. What we are seeing now developed nations saw long time back. The US, UK, Japan, and even Korea ans Singapore have already seen this phase. Do you think people or ecology got disturbed in these countries to the extent that people or rivers vanished. It will never happen. People will themselves find a solution to the problems. If indeed there comes a time when planting trees would be a solution for survival you will see billions of plants being planted throughout the world. So, stop being cynical. Economy does change. If Coorg is agrarian economy, can’t it change? And, whole of India used to be agrarian. So, has things deteriorated with industrialization. yes, for those who fail to come to terms with the changing need. The need of the hour is not to be cynical and roadblocks for all projects in the name of environment or in the name of stopping outsiders. We Indians should be matured. We should rather concentrate on seeing the development is a sustainable one. But problem is all of us are big hypocrites. We put our house in order and start raising hue and cry about others once we are comfortable. Also look at how locals have benefited as well in Coorg or Ooty or for that matter even in places like Delhi or Mumbai.
    Our population is huge, but we are definitely not among the most densely populated countries like Japan or Korea. So, relax, things are not so bad. Accept we are in a transition as a society. You cannot stop changes however cynical you may become or adopt methods like what Raj Thakrey & Gang resorts to.

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  3. Anasuya Prasad

    Absolutely agree. However, there are various other factors that we need to look into.
    Ever since the market opened up and we have been exposed to madly fluctuating rates, the local growers went through a period when they could not depend on their crops alone to sustain them. We all remember very well the tragic suicides that followed the fall in prices. It was around this time that people started opening up their homes for additional income. If not for all, at least for some growers, it was definitely a boon that their simple, connected lifestyle could sustain itself.
    The shift to tourism started due to a felt need of the local populace. So it is crucial that the requirements of the small growers are looked into and the coffee market protected so that growing coffee can ‘work out’ for everyone.

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  4. Kunal

    State government should invest in rain water harvesting and encourage people to in Metro city to conserve rain water. and if possible should make it Mendatory to have RWH for large Housing complexes and Big shopping Mall / Hospitals / Hotels to collect Rain water.

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  5. talegari

    @amabarish jha:
    I do not why there is so much frenzy in India about outsiders and snatching local’s jobs and all these stuff.

    It depends on which side you stand and see it. Most progressive(so-called) thinkers living in big cities have no idea what wreck industrialisation and globalisation are creating in the the subtle rural.

    If indeed there comes a time when planting trees would be a solution for survival you will see billions of plants being planted throughout the world.

    How shortsighted … do you heard of ‘ecological balance’. This subtle balance, once destroyed shall never return back, even if you plant a million trees. It not the numbers. Moreover, we loose the ‘culture’, the human element that has been the part of us as a harmonious relationship with nature.

    We should rather concentrate on seeing the development is a sustainable one.
    Ah, now comes the most miunderstood word of theis century: sustainability

    Also look at how locals have benefited as well in Coorg or Ooty or for that matter even in places like Delhi or Mumbai.
    Benefitted? Lost their agricultural lands, lost their culture, rivers have become polluted, dwelling in slums, raising commercial crops mindlessly using fertilizers and pesticides … the list goes on.

    ambarish, please wake up.

    @anusuya prasad
    So it is crucial that the requirements of the small growers are looked into and the coffee market protected so that growing coffee can ‘work out’ for everyone.

    Yes, kodagu badly needs it. Kodagu needs to be sustainable as it has been in past, preserve its forest and therefore preserve its culture. Here, sustainability coffee and rice can provide shall be crucial.

    @Tim
    What about people expanding their plantations?
    Yes, encroachment into forests is a big issue, a different issue than the one discussed here.

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