Restrict road widening to 7.5mts from Thirthahalli to Megaravalli (NH 169A)
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We all know the importance of Western Ghats and its huge contribution of oxygen supply and home for most of the wildlife in Karnataka.
Road widening is happening at a rapid pace in the eco-sensitive region of Western ghats from Thirthahalli to Megaravalli (NH 169A).
Majority of Villages between Thirthahalli and Agumbe are considered as eco sensitive places in Kasturirangan and Gadgil report; and as per the gezezette notification by MoEF&CC.
Since this area comes under Malathi (Tunga Tributary ) , Varahi, Sita River Catchment area the loss of trees will have direct deleterious impact on these rivers .
The current traffic in this area (From Thirthahalli to Megaravalli, NH 169A) is about 5000 ADT(Average Daily Traffic) and the current road with 5 meter width is sufficient for serving this traffic. Keeping the development in mind, widening the road to 7.5 meters will serve the requirement of managing the traffic of 10000 ADT. But widening it to 10 meters is clearly a utter non sense.
Road can only be widened to 10 meters if the traffic density crosses 20000 ADT In this case, it is only 5000 ADT now which clearly states the project is not required here.
Karnataka Forest Department has marked around 250 trees which served the mankind for more than 200 years which include the native species like Banyan, Jackfruit and are the home for hundreds of birds and animals. Each tree releases more than 2500 Kilos of oxygen per year (2500 * 250 = 625 Tonnes of Oxygen per year) which equates to 6 crore rupees of oxygen for free. Also the trees help the rain water to reach underground to a greater extent. These trees are also withholding the soil during monsoons and heavy rains and thereby preventing the soil from erosion.
Further more, this road can only be widened till Kowrihakkalu and cannot be widened thereafter due to hard laws in the Agumbe region as this region comes under Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary. This will create an unnecessary bottleneck and clearly shows this is just the waste of the taxpayers money to construct the roads which will not serve anyone.
There is no need to widen the road from Thirthahalli to Megaravalli when permission is not granted for widening between Agumbe and Malpe because it has to pass through Agumbe reserve forest and Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary .
So hereby we all request the Government authorities to revisit this once by taking all the above aspects into consideration and restrict the road to 7.5mts and opt for branch cutting of the trees than uprooting them.
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