Chamundi Hill Ropeway Project |  Govt. to study pros and cons before implementation: Patil
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Chamundi Hill Ropeway Project |  Govt. to study pros and cons before implementation: Patil

January 29, 2024

Impact on local environment and ecosystem will be studied, says Tourism Minister

Mysore/Mysuru: Facing intense condemnation and widespread criticism from various environmental groups and activists who underscore the potential harm to the fragile ecosystem if the Chamundi Hill ropeway project is implemented, Tourism Minister H.K. Patil stated that a final decision on the ropeway proposal would be made only after a thorough examination of its pros and cons.

Acknowledging the objections raised by environmental activists concerning development projects on Chamundi Hill, Patil expressed understanding of their sentiments. “The project is before the Government and a suitable decision will be taken,” he told reporters here on Saturday.

Patil was speaking after inaugurating a photo exhibition on the Prehistoric Ruins of Karnataka at the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage (DAMH) where he addressed the concerns surrounding the proposed ropeway project.

The Minister said that while the proposal is currently awaiting Government consideration, it has faced both serious objections and support from various quarters. He stated, “We will thoroughly analyse the pros and cons of the project, assessing its impact on the local environment and ecosystem, before arriving at a decision. Discussions will also be held with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and the District Minister H.C. Mahadevappa.”

Additionally, the Minister highlighted the importance of consulting experts to determine the feasibility of the ropeway from a heritage conservation standpoint.

Furthermore, Patil mentioned that the State Government has taken steps to establish Chamundi Hill Development Authority on the lines of Sri Male Mahadeshwara Swamy Kshetra Development Authority, which will be tasked with overseeing the comprehensive conservation and development of the area.

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He also disclosed that the Cabinet has approved a proposal for the development of Chamundi Hill, allocating over Rs. 45 crore under the Central Government’s Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) scheme.

Regarding the promotion of the 13th-century Keshava Temple at Somnathpur, designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in September 2023, the Minister acknowledged that establishing facilities takes time and cannot happen overnight. However, he assured that temporary measures would be initiated for the immediate benefit of tourists. Additionally, Minister Patil expressed his intention to engage in discussions with relevant department officials to assess the urgent requirements and explore how they could be implemented.

“I am not aware of the KSRTC providing minimal bus service to Somnathpur. I will also hold discussions with the senior officials of the KSRTC on improving connectivity to Somnathpur to enhance tourist footfalls,” he said.

Tourism Department Secretary Salma K. Fahim, Department of Archaeology Museums and Heritage Commissioner A. Devaraju, Executive Secretary of JSS Mahavidyapeetha Dr. C.G. Betsurmath and others were present.

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