Mysuru: Vehemently opposing the Government’s move to construct a Disneyland like project at KRS Dam site in Srirangapatna taluk of Mandya district, over a hundred activists from various association and organisations, under the joint banner of ‘Bebi Betta Ulisi, KRS Rakshishi,’ held a preliminary meeting at Karnataka Institute for Agricultural Marketing complex auditorium on Hunsur Road, this morning, to chalk out future course of action.
Heritage expert of the city Prof. S.N. Rangaraju, who was among the first speakers at the meeting, said that River Cauvery is the lifeline of crores of people in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and the Government’s latest move to build a Disneyland at KRS Dam, poses a great threat to the very existence of the river.
Prof. Rangaraju said that KRS Dam was built nearly a century ago using only cement mortar and stones, on a 110 ft. to 140 ft. wide foundation. Stating that no steel was used in the construction of the Dam, apart from the sluice gates, he said that many experts have advised against any major construction in the vicinity of 50-70 kms of the Dam.
Cautioning the Government against the Disneyland project, Prof. Rangaraju warned that the project, apart from posing a major threat to the Dam, will ultimately lead to River Cauvery meeting the same fate of Vedavathi and Suvarnavathi Rivers, which have dried up.
Highlighting the threats posed to the Dam and its surroundings by the proposed Disneyland project, he urged the Government to drop the move at once in the better interests of crores of people, for whom Mother Cauvery is the lifeline.
Social activist P. Mallesh warned the Govt. against indiscreet stone-quarrying in Bebi Betta, located close to the Dam.
Maintaining that scientists have attributed the deafening sounds and tremors that were recently felt across Mandya to stone-mining at Bebi Betta, Mallesh alleged that illegal stone-quarrying in Bebi Betta over the past few decades, posed a grave threat to KRS Dam, which is just a few kilometres away. Calling for urgent measures for a total ban on mining at Bebi Betta, he claimed that illegal mining had affected the lives of hundreds of people living in villages around the hill.
Urging the Government to impose a total ban on mining at Bebi Betta and surrounding areas and not to go ahead with the proposed Disneyland-like project at KRS Dam, he warned of a massive movement if the Government goes ahead with the Disneyland project.
Veteran writer Dr. C.P. Krishna Kumar and Devanur Mahadev, former Rangayana Director H. Janardhan, Prof. P.V. Nanjaraj Urs, Prof. G.T. Veerappa, writers Bannur K. Raju and Prof. C.P. Siddashrama, Kannada activists M. Chandrashekar, M.B. Vishwanath and Doreswamy, DSS leader Guruprasad Keregodu, leaders L. Jagannath and Ugranarasimhegowda, farmer leaders Badagalapura Nagendra, Ashwath Raje Urs, Hosakote Basavaraj, Hosur Kumar, Belagola Subramanya, Lakshminarayan and others attended the meeting.