STOP THE TWO RAILWAY TRACKS TO KODAGU, SAVE RIVER CAUVERY & YOUR DRINKING WATER
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TWO RAILWAY TRACKS ARE BEING PUSHED INTO KODAGU (COORG), WHICH IS THE MAIN RIVER CATCHMENT AREA FOR THE CAUVERY.
1 - The Thalaserry- Kutta- Mysuru railway.
2 - The Mysuru- Kushalnagar- Madikeri- Mangaluru railway.
WHY THIS IS A BAD IDEA:
Implementing two railway tracks will involve the cutting of lakhs of trees in this rain catchment, Cauvery-creating region.
Kodagu already lost 54,000 trees for a high-tension power line to Kerala, as a result of which the temperature increased and the water holes here dried up.
Kodagu's tree cover makes it the Water Tank of Bengaluru, and the IT City, it is already predicted, will be unliveable in three to four decades. This is a clear prediction of the IISc.
In a rain catchment area, less trees over time, leads to less rain & less river. And finally, no river.
The Cauvery river has already reduced in volume by 40% over the last 50 years.
In fact, the river dries up completely in Tamil Nadu and does not reach the sea any more.
70% of the inflow into the KRS reservoir in Mysuru is believed to be from Kodagu District.
The River Cauvery is the lifeline of South India and provides water to over 80 million (8 crore) people, and 600 major industries across the region. It is therefore in the National Interest to preserve the Kodagu ecology.
The food, water and economic security of Southern Karnataka and Tamil Nadu hinges largely on the Cauvery River. In Karnataka, these regions include the citizens and farmers of Bengaluru, Mysuru, Mandya and Kodagu. And in Tamil Nadu it covers the districts of Salem, Erode, Trichy, Thanjavur and Nagapattinam.
Simply put, no trees in Coorg means no River Cauvery. Every tree holds 30,000 to 40,000 litres of water, its roots release water underground to form tiny streams, and its leaves give off moisture into the air to create humidity that invites rain from passing clouds.
Four road-widening projects to National Highway and State Highway standards is also planned and will cut lakhs more trees.
A HIGH DEGREE OF HUMAN-ANIMAL CONFLICT ALREADY EXISTS
Due to the overall loss of trees, the water sources in the forests have dried up. They come alive briefly during the monsoons and die again even before summer sets in properly.
With little foliage to eat, the elephants are found as often in the estates as in the forest. Human-elephant conflict has taken many lives, and people live in fear
WHY WOULD THE GOVT INSIST ON PUTTING TWO RAILWAY TRACKS INTO KODAGU, WHEN THERE IS NO REAL NEED FOR THEM?
LET US LOOK AT BOTH THE TRACKS:
FIRST, THE KUSHALNAGAR TRACK
The Kushalnagar track was declared not financially viable. The small population of Kodagu and the potential traffic of customers and goods, do not call for a railway track.
The track is apparently being pushed through despite protests by the people, for the money that politicians can make from the railway contracts, and the timber money from the tree cutting that will be done. The timber lobby could be a driving force behind this track.
A false narrative is being built of the track stopping at the border of Kodagu in Kushalnagar. But an RTI has clearly revealed that the track will go to Makkandur 4 km near Madikeri. So verbal assurances from politicians should not be accepted, as they may not be in power when the decision to take the track to Madikeri is made. It will also go on to Mangaluru from Madikeri.
The excuse of promoting tourism is being given by the Govt, but the truth is the Coorg landscape has reached saturation in tourism. There are already too many resorts and home stays, and stinking piles of garbage are lining many of the roads.
Road connectivity is already very good, and more mass tourism from the railways will kill the District's ecology.
Another excuse given by the Government is that the coffee grown here can be sent by train to Mangalore port, but the fact is that coffee is already being despatched by road, quite efficiently and economically. Hassan District has railway connectivity, and they have not benefited noticeably from it.
Some argue that Hunsur has the right to get a railway track and that if Kodagu says no to the railway, it will affect Hunsur. That is easily solved, KR Nagar is just 21 km away by road and it is already connected by railway. A track can be created from KR Nagar to Hunsur. it need to not be the Mysuru-Kushalnagar railway line at crores of expense.
NOW, THE THALASERRY TRACK
Route - Thalaserry, Koothaparamba, Mananthavady, Kutta, Kanoor, Balele, Thitihmathi, Hunsur.
Both road and rail routes from Thalaserry already exist, there is no need for this new route.
The road route is through Kabini to Mysore and the railway track is through Palghat to Bangalore.
There is a flourishing bus service from Thalaserry to Bangalore and there is no desperate need for a railway at such a terrible environmental cost of lakhs of trees and the death of a River.
There is a financially and influentially strong lobby behind this track, the lobby is made of business and political vested interests.
The environmentalists of Wynaad too are against this Railway and have joined hands with the people of Kodagu.
It makes no sense to deprive the farmers and people of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu off their right to always have Cauvery water...just to make travel cheaper and shorter by a few hours for the people of Kerala.
Also, it is not all the people of Kerala who want the Railway, but the lobby that is always working for some railway to be put through some forest. This could simply be their source of income.
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION
Please sign this petition and forward it to others who will support the cause. Help us to stop the two railway tracks to Kodagu, save the trees and the River Cauvery, protect the drinking water of 8 crore Indians in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The petition has been addressed to the below persons in the Govt.
Prime Minister of India
Union Minister for Railways.
Union Minister for Environment.
Union Minister for Irrigation.
Union Minister for Tribal Affairs.
Union Home Minister - Joint Secretary.
National Human Rights Commission of India.
Chief Minister of Karnataka.
Karnataka State Minister for Railways.
Karnataka State Minister for Environment.
Karnataka State Home Minister.
Karnataka Minister for Law, Justice and Human Rights.
Karnataka State minster for Tourism.
Karnataka State Minister for Transport.
Karnataka State Human Rights Commission.
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