Drop profit-oriented tourism projects atop Chamundi Hill
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Drop profit-oriented tourism projects atop Chamundi Hill

April 3, 2022

Experts raise their voice against ropeway project; call to conserve ecology

Mysore/Mysuru: Speakers at the round table meeting organised by Chamundi Betta Ulisi Samithi at JSS Women’s College in Saraswathipuram this morning made a fervent appeal to the Government to drop the proposed ropeway and railings for the steps at Chamundi Hill. The meeting deliberated the actions to be taken in the coming days to stall destructive development projects propagated by political class, including approaching the appropriate court of law and also table legislation to safeguard the Hill.

Addressing the meeting, Member of the Expert Committee for Development and Protection of Mysore Heritage Region and Convenor, INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) Prof. N.S. Rangaraju said that Chamundi Hill is a part of the cultural heritage, religious heritage, archaeology heritage and natural heritage of Mysuru and it is a biodiversity hotspot. Any move to destroy them  must be opposed.

Structural Engineer Maj. Gen. (retd.) S.G. Vombatkere said that there are two types of tourism to Chamundi Hill — cultural and religious — and tourists come from all over. The Government is planning to turn Chamundi Hill into commercial tourism and the ropeway project is a part of commercial exploitation.

Commercial exploitation

“This is the third time the Government is floating the ropeway project and unfortunately for the Government and the political class, tourism development must rake in money so that tourism must be profit-oriented. We need to convince the Government to drop profit-oriented tourism atop Chamundi Hill. These projects will cause irreparable damage to the environment,” he said.

“The Supreme Court has said, ‘the environment is more important than your civil rights. Your civil rights are subordinate to the environment. Once a forest, it is always a forest’ and it is the responsibility of the Government to safeguard the forests and we can even knock on the doors of the Court of law if the Government goes ahead with the ropeway project,” he noted.

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Environment activist Krupakar said that the Chamundi Hill has a unique character and it must be safeguarded for future generations. U.N. Ravikumar, who is actively involved in wetland conservation, rainwater harvesting, sustainable sanitation, greywater recycling, biodiversity conservation and environmental education noted that Chamundi Hill comes under a watershed area and it extends to 16 square kilometres.

“The Chamundi Hill per se is 1,500 acres. The way of looking at the Hill from a human perspective is not right. Rather, the focus must be on the nature and ecology-focused perspective. It is a biodiversity hotspot and a buffer zone must be created at the foothill to prevent further encroachment,” he noted.

It is an ecological entity and a watershed that feeds 12 lakes including Karanji Lake. More concretisation on the hilltop is sounding a death knell to the water bodies, he warned.

Geologist Prof. Janardhan, Environmentalist A. Shivaprakash Adavanne, environmentalists Nagesh Hegde, Shashidhar Shetty and activist and writer Rupa Hassan will also address the meeting.

4 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Drop profit-oriented tourism projects atop Chamundi Hill”

  1. Gautam says:

    This Chamundi Hill with its weak geological structure and the road leading to the top, was appropriate for Mysore as it existed in 1950-the original Royal city. The population of the city since then is increasing at an alarming rate with matching developments across the city, and the Hill has not escaped from this fall out.
    This talk shop consist of retirees like Maj. Gen. (retd.) S.G. Vombatkere who led the massive influx of non-Mysoreans to settle starting from 1970s, thus instigating the clearing of forest around the city including the foot of the Hill, creating new housing developments ; they were the poachers who are now acting as gate keepers-meaning they destroyed the old Mysore through massive settling, and increased the car traffic on the Hill road, and having done that , they now want to save the Chamundi Hill blaming the tourism!!
    The fact is,tourists arriving to the city and visiting the Chamundi Hill are a fraction of those non-Mysoreans who continue to arrive in large numbers to settle in the city: These new comers become the visitors to the Temple on the Hill in large numbers on every auspicious day of the religious calendar. Their car numbers on the Hill road outstrip the tourist buses per day. the Temple authorities encourage these numbers, by advertising auspicious occasions; they and priests get a large slice of additional income manipulating a number of special darshan plans.
    Maj. Gen. (retd.) S.G. Vombatkere, is airing a red-herring_ a profit-oriented tourism; the numbers of tourists involved there will be in no way comparable to ever-increasing massive numbers of city dwellers, who visit the Hill via the Hill road; These are the real culprits who use cars in increasing numbers to get to the top of the Hill.
    If talkers like Maj. Gen. (retd.) S.G. Vombatkere care to investigate the statistics of the numbers of the aforementioned city dwellers visiting the Temple per day against the numbers of tourists visiting the Hill for whatever reason, he would discover how daft he is, blaming the tourists alone for the Hill’s destruction; even if the Rope Way construction and other profit-oriented tourism developments are stopped, the Hill is going to be destroyed within afew years by sheer numbers of city dwellers visiting the top of the Hill.
    The Chamundi Hill and Mysore City were a couplet when the city took shape and the Temple atop the Hill took shape with the steps constructed first, followed by the road later. There was a healthy mapping between the city population and temple traffic. That situation existed until the massive influx of settlers began arriving in 1970s,

  2. K Sridhar says:

    As long as vehicles are allowed in large numbers to the top of Chamundi Hill, the destruction of ecology and pollution will continue. The govt must stop vehicles at the base of the hill and run frequent buses to the top. The govt can plan four wheeler and two wheeler parking at the base of the hill. Thist is what has been implemented from Gundlupet to Gopalaswami Betta. This way, at least the pollution and destruction of ecology can be minimised.

  3. Shantala says:

    Yes, it is the massive increase in the numbers of cars on the Chamundi Hill road, which was constructed for quite a fewer numbers decades ago, which is the main problem. The earth slides occurs due to the heavy stress of the vehicular traffic which shakes the Hill’s geological structure. I know, most of these vehicles are from those who live in the city, and fewer numbers of them are from tourists.
    Hence. STOP all traffic on the Hill road. Those who are disabled and old, who cannot use the steps, only should be ferried on the road by buses-there will be very few of them per day. The rest-devotees and tourists should TAKE THE STEPS and walk up the Hill. There are only 1000 steps, and one c an get a wonderful view of the city by stopping periodically when climbing and enjoy the sight. Two tents on the way up could be installed with first aid facility with paramedics. Devotees and tourists alike get a sense of achievement too . Getting out of cars and using legs is a very good exercise.

  4. Shantala says:

    Yes, it is the massive increase in the numbers of cars on the Chamundi Hill road, which was constructed for quite a fewer numbers decades ago, which is the main problem. The earth slides occurs due to the heavy stress of the vehicular traffic which shakes the Hill’s geological structure. I know, most of these vehicles are from those who live in the city, and fewer numbers of them are from tourists.
    Hence. STOP all traffic on the Hill road. Those who are disabled and old, who cannot use the steps, only should be ferried on the road by buses-there will be very few of them per day. The rest-devotees and tourists should TAKE THE STEPS and walk up the Hill. There are only 1000 steps, and one c an get a wonderful view of the city by stopping periodically when climbing and enjoy the sight. Two tents on the way up could be installed with first aid facility with paramedics. Devotees and tourists alike get a sense of achievement too . Getting out of cars and using legs is a very good exercise.

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