‘Since Tamil Nadu is the biggest beneficiary of River Cauvery, there is nothing wrong in seeking help’
Mysuru: Noted Kannada novelist and Padma Shri awardee Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa felt that Karnataka should seek the help of Tamil Nadu in mobilising resources to rebuild flood-ravaged Kodagu district. Since Tamil Nadu is the biggest beneficiary of River Cauvery — that originates in Kodagu — that State can easily contribute financially to rehabilitate Kodagu, he said.
Addressing the gathering during a special lecture series on ‘Current social and environmental affairs of India’ organised under the joint auspices of Ha.Ma. Nayak Foundation and Kuvempu Institute of Kannada Studies (KIKS) at B.M. Shri Hall, Manasagangothri here on Tuesday, Dr. Bhyrappa said, “When Cauvery originates in Kodagu and flows towards the neighbouring Tamil Nadu, meets all water demand of people of the particular State, why should not the Karnataka government explore the possibility of seeking their help.”
So far no administrator in Karnataka has thought in this direction. “Our government must seek help from Tamil Nadu government and there is nothing wrong in this,” he said.
Recalling his visit to Gujarat when Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister, Dr. Bhyrappa said that rejuvenation of lakes had been taken up on a large scale in that State. “Sadly in Karnataka, farmers have shunned the practice of desilting lakes on their own, forgetting that the silt was also used as a manure earlier to improve the fertility of the land,” he regretted.
On the use of organic food, organic farming and organic food consumption, the noted litterateur said that if people do not immediately switch over to organic food, there is a danger of them developing health complications due to rampant contamination and the use of pesticides.
“Almost every food item or fruit we consume, we are invariably forced to eat pesticide as chemicals are used even in the fruit ripening stage,” he regretted and added that pesticides are a major reason for human body to develop cancer and heart ailments.
Noted environmentalist Dr. A.N. Yellappa Reddy said Kodagu had to witness the catastrophe due to the continuous ignorance on the part of successive governments, which ignored reports prepared by environmentalists and government-constituted committees. All these reports warned the government about the impending danger years ago, he said.
Barring former Chief Minister D. Devaraja Urs, who had an ear for experts and executed various recommendations in the interest of society during his tenure, no other leaders have similar acumen, he said. “Devaraja Urs introduced the Tree Conservation Act, amid severe objection by his own party men, on my recommendation,” re-called Reddy and said that Karnataka desperately needed leaders like Devaraja Urs.
On the Centre’s and Kerala’s mounting pressure on building elevated roads via Bandipur Tiger Reserve connecting Karnataka and Kerala, the noted environmentalist said that even if it means travelling between Kerala in a roundabout way or even if round travelling causes financial losses, elevated roads must not be constructed via Bandipur, he opined.