This refers to Justice M.F. Saldanha’s open letter to our CM on Kodagu devastation (SOM dated Aug. 27). There could not be a more apt letter than this one by the retired Judge with environmental concern.
I spent some years of my childhood and also some years later in the then Coorg and have very fond memories.
My dad was a doctor and so spent our lives in the Quarters provided by the government and needless to say they were surrounded by forests and a hospital and nothing else. Schools were far away and we went by rural bus as tiny-tots. The only place for purchases were either Mercara or Mysore which was a good distance away as buses were scarce.
Kodagu retained its pristine beauty even as late as 1980 and once you left Periyapatna you were drawn into the beauty of trees and hillocks beckoning you.
Now, I visited Kodagu in 2015 and was dismayed at the ruin it had faced in the name of development. Mercara was transformed to a cement jungle and resorts rammed at every nook and corner once you left Mysore.
Trees had been indiscriminately cut, inways to resorts made, slopes evened and even parking lots made by concrete. Nobody cared as long as they made money and people from cities had a close getaway.
This disaster was coming and despite this the government did nothing to check it. Forest Department as usual never cared as long as you cut trees before they could come. So now when this disaster happens and it is the people of Kodagu who are suffering, they should now garner support and stop “ALL” sorts of development.
The government will also do well for once to hear the environmentalists’ pleas to preserve mother nature for the good of Kodavas and Kodgau.
Please stop any further endeavours for a Railway Line as it will further weaken the eco-system. Politicians must not have a say in developmental work and at best left for the citizens to debate and decide.
Let now Kodavas set a precedence by bringing back the old glory to Kodagu and healing mother nature so Kodagu becomes the natural beauty it once was.
– Vinoda Ramachandra, San Francisco, USA, 27.8.2018
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