PRASHAD to inflict more damage on Chamundi Hill
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PRASHAD to inflict more damage on Chamundi Hill

January 12, 2023
  • Learn from Joshimath disaster, warn environment activists
  • To organise mass protests, satyagraha against destruction

MysoreMysuru: The proposed plan of the Centre and the State Government to holistically develop Chamundi Hill under the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) Scheme has infuriated environmentalists who are decrying the move and are arguing that ultimately all these projects will destroy the green Hill, Mysuru’s natural asset.

Public momentum is building against any sort of development and a meeting was held at the Institution of Engineers-India (IEI) on Tuesday in this regard. It was decided that all the organisations, environment groups and stakeholders, who are opposing Chamundi Hill development, must come under one banner to influence public opinion and protest the ‘mindless’ development.

As per the proposal, the estimated cost of the development will be Rs. 48.3 crore and this has been divided into seven parts. It aims to beautify Chamundi Hill and its foothill by upgrading facilities, restoring and redeveloping and beautifying the Nandi Statue, Devikere and improving the approach to the Chamundeshwari Temple premises with a guided walkway, interactive signage, smart parking and centralised ticketing and parking facilities.

The meeting saw the attendance of over 40 activists under the banner of ‘Chamundi Betta Ulisi Samiti’ (Save Chamundi Hill Committee), Clean Mysuru, Parisara Balaga, Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP) and other allied organisations and NGOs.

“Learn from Uttarakhand’s ‘sinking town’ of Joshimath where more than 700 houses have developed cracks and residents are being moved to safety. Joshimath has been declared disaster-prone, with the increasing land subsidence and cracks detected. One day, Chamundi Hill too will face a similar fate,” warned Maj. Gen. (retd.) S.G. Vombatkere.

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Environmental Impact Assessment

Considering the special status and character of Chamundi Hill as a combination of religious-forest-environment heritage within the Heritage City of Mysuru, the State Government has to order an independent, transparent Environmental Impact Assessment before any further development proposed in any part of Chamundi Hill, he reasoned.

Construction activities have to be banned in Chamundi Hill to retain the mountain in its present form. The damage has already been done and the PRASHAD Scheme will inflict more damages threatening the very existence of the Hill, Vombatkere added.

Human pressure unsustainable

Bhamy V. Shenoy of the MGP too said that Chamundi Hill too will meet the fate of Joshimath if the construction activities do not stop. “Chamundi Hill is a rare gift bestowed on Mysureans where we have a reserved forest with 139 species of birds, 34 species of medicinal plants, wild animals and unmatched biodiversity in a small area right in the city. Human pressure on the top of the Hill has reached an unsustainable level,” he added.

“The only thing our politicians and bureaucrats listen to or react to is a large protest. We have to organise a peaceful satyagraha to save the Hill. As part of the satyagraha, we should start campaigning for not to buy anything in the Hill. Then automatically shops will wind up and they will move way. But this is not easy but a beginning can be made,” Bhamy Shenoy suggested.

Chamalapura Thermal Plant-modelOthers in the meeting opined that a mass movement must be organised to maintain the sanctity of Chamundi Hill. They were of the opinion that a massive campaign was the need of the hour to drive home the point of the need to save the Hill from destruction.

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“We have to draw inspiration from protests that were taken out against the Chamalapura Thermal Plant a few years ago. Such a movement will force the Government to reconsider construction works atop the Hill,” they said.

Speakers recalled how the activists were able to force the Government to shelve the controversial ropeway project atop the Hill. Only the people can force the Government to tread a particular path. Though the ropeway project was planned and money was sanctioned, the public protests forced the Government to retract, they recalled.

Movement like Mysuru Bandh

“We must drive sense into the minds of elected representatives who are hell-bent on destroying Chamundi Hill. A movement like Mysuru Bandh will yield good results,” opined Prof. N.S. Rangaraju, retired Professor from the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Mysore, who is also a Member of Heritage Conservation Committee, Government of Karnataka.

Parisara Balaga Founder-Member Parashuramegowda said that the proposed construction under PRASHAD Scheme will in no way help in the development but in fact would destroy the Hill and added that many experts have expressed shock over the proposed developmental projects. Landslips have occurred due to pressure atop the Hill as huge constructions have been taken up atop the Hill, he added.

The activists resolved to take out padayatra to spread awareness on the ecological significance of the Hill.

Prof. Kalachannegowda, former Mayor B.L. Bhyrappa, Prof. Kalegowda Nagawara and others were present.

6 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “PRASHAD to inflict more damage on Chamundi Hill”

  1. XXXX says:

    This iconic hill is systematically destroyed as a tourism spot by the politicians in power.
    Tourism development means more contracts, more 40% commissions to ministers and officials,

  2. Yes, Mann Ki Baat!! says:

    Hello politicians, offiiclals and tourists
    Do not rest until you collectively reduce this once beautiful Hill iinto a mound of rubble!!
    Well done, then!!

  3. AAP volunteer says:

    The meeting saw the attendance of over 40 activists under the banner of ‘Chamundi Betta Ulisi Samiti’ (Save Chamundi Hill Committee). This is great! No development is good.

  4. Santhosh says:

    Chamundi Hill, Male Mahadeshwara Hill and Bili Giri Ranga Hill – all three hills should should follow Himavad Gopalaswamy Hill model. There should only be temple atop the hill. No other structures should be allowed. Visitors should use public vehicle. Visitors should have only darshan and return back. No other activities should be allowed on the hill. These hills not some rocky terrain. They are like mini forest consisting of large vegetation and different species of birds and animals. If human activities are allowed unchecked, these hills will surely be destroyed.

  5. Shashi Kumar says:

    I don’t deny that facilities at temples should be improved for tourist’s convenience but the environmental impact should also kept in mind. Chamundi Hill is being ravaged day-by-day. Does one even get a feel of being on top of a hill when you reach the temple? There is so much construction on Chamundi Hill. The ambience has been completely ruined by successive authorities!

  6. Mann Ki Baat! says:

    Hey posters
    What made these many developments on the Hill possible?
    It is the car culture, as more and more have cars, they travel up the Hill using the Hill Road, and do not need the effort of climbing the Hill.
    Tourism in these days of cars is very easy, and that causes the destruction.
    Indians are besotted with cars as a symbol of privilege, a show that they can afford cars.
    No use in blaming the construction on the Hill, when people can live there, as an extension of Mysore city, have cars, and commute to the city.
    It is cars which will destroy this |Hill.


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