Mandya / Mysuru: The State Government’s plan to develop KRS Dam and Brindavan Gardens on the lines of Disneyland Park in California has not gone down well with many in Mandya especially farmers as they fear that they will lose their land. Farmers have said that their fertile land will be snatched by the government and they will be rendered homeless and jobless.
A day after the Mandya District Administration launched the government land identification exercise for the proposed mega project, residents and farmers around KRS said they were not ready to give up their land. As per the government plans, along with the existing 200 acres of land available at KRS, an additional 400 acres was required for the mega project that will cost over Rs. 2,000 crore.
Residents of Hongahalli, Chikkayarahalli and surrounding villages attached to the Reservoir held meetings where they announced their stand of fighting against the land acquisition with unity. The farmers said they were not against the project, but only against giving up their land for any tourism-related permanent projects. At the meeting venue, they shouted slogans against the government move to acquire their lands and snatch their livelihood.
Meanwhile, Mandya DC N. Manjushree yesterday inspected Government lands and other areas at different places attached to the proposed project.
‘Not a statue’: In Bengaluru, Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar claimed there was a proposal to build a tower at the KRS and not a statue of Mother Cauvery. “It will have an elevator and will be like Eiffel Tower so that people can go up and get a good view of the Dam and surroundings,” he told reporters.
Engineers oppose: Cauvery Technical Advisory Committee of the Institution of Engineers-India (IEI) has opposed the proposed statue of Mother Cauvery. The members opposed the project citing it as “unscientific” and opined that the project was “anti-farmer” and “destructive.”
A meeting was held at the IEI last evening where Major Gen. (retd.) S.G. Vombatkere said, it is not right for the Government to take a decision without seeking the opinion of public and experts.
Experts say, to construct such a huge statue, a foundation of at least 35 ft. should be dug. Advanced machines have to be used which would affect the Dam and there are possibilities of tremors in the region, they felt.
‘Shameful waste of money’: Environmentalists have called the project as environmentally destructive and would deface heritage nature of Brindavan Gardens and KRS. They have termed it as a shameful waste of money and cheap politics played in the name of River Cauvery.
Crushers offer to stop mining: Quarry and crushing unit owners have promised to stop quarrying in the region if expert report states that the KRS is facing a threat from mining activities.
Speaking to reporters in Mandya yesterday, R.C. Naganna, President of Quarry and Stone Crusher Owners Assn., said: “The District Administration has banned mining activities citing threat to Dam. As a result, thousands of labourers, who are dependent on mining activities, have been affected.” He added that they were ready to stop mining if experts feel that the Dam faces threat from mining blasts.