Renewed demand for Dubare hanging bridge
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Renewed demand for Dubare hanging bridge

May 22, 2022

Panchayat delegation to meet Forest, Tourism Ministers; will explain tourist inconvenience

Kushalnagar; There is a renewed demand for a hanging bridge for River Cauvery at Dubare Elephant Camp in Kodagu, one of the main tourist attractions. The sanctioned project has been shelved now. The Nanjarayapatna Gram Panchayat will push for the project and there are plans to meet Forest Minister Umesh Katti and Tourism Minister Anand Singh in the coming days.

The Panchayat is upset that its demand for hanging bridge has not been met despite funds being sanctioned twice and it has blamed the Forest Department for putting a spanner in the works, by citing procedural and permission issues.

River Cauvery flows in full force here and the two sides can only be accessed by motorised boats at present. The Panchayat President and members said that in the absence of a hanging bridge, tourists are risking their lives to cross from one side of the river to another.

While one side of the river bank is controlled by the Tourism Department, the other by the Forest Department that runs an elephant camp there. The suspension bridge was conceptualised to be 110 metres in length and 1.8-metre width and way back in 2015-2016, the Kodagu Tourism Department first sent the proposal at an estimated cost of Rs. 2.35 crore.

Two proposals not materialised

It was to have three columns — two at the sides and one in the middle — as it is 1.8 metres wide. Other hanging bridges usually have only two columns. The Tourism Department sanctioned Rs. 1 crore for the project and consulted Girish Bharadwaj, popularly known as the ‘Bridgeman’ of India.

But the Forest Department denied permission and objected to the bridge construction by a third party, Nanjarayapatna Panchayat President  C.L. Vishwa told Star of Mysore this morning.

In the second proposal, the Tourism Department wrote to the Forest Department and said that funds can be sanctioned by the Tourism Department and Forest Department can take up construction as per their norms after getting clearances. Even this did not take shape. “The Forest Department is not obliging and the officers are citing rules and other procedural issues,” he said.

Due to this bureaucratic back and forth, the Rs. 1 crore released was returned to the Government. “The Forest Department runs boat service from one side to other and there are only two mechanised boats that can accommodate only 15 but over 20 are accommodated without life jackets. Thousands of tourists miss seeing the elephants and the elephant camp that is only open from 8.30 am to 11.30 am. Only over 100 tourists can take the boats in over 10 to 12 trips,” he said.

Tourists risk lives

Due to the heavy rush for boats, many tourists take the risk of walking across the river on slippery rocks. Many deaths and accidents have occurred due to this and the Forest Department has to take the blame, Vishwa added. “The Department’s callousness is endangering the lives of people and without getting a chance to see the elephants, tourists refuse to pay the parking charges and this leads to fights,” he said.

The Panchayat will write to the Taluk Executive Officer, Kodagu Deputy Commissioner and Zilla Panchayat CEO seeking immediate construction of a hanging bridge. “We will even meet the Forest and Tourism Minister and explain the inconvenience to the tourists and also the risks involved in the absence of a hanging bridge,” he said.

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Renewed demand for Dubare hanging bridge”

  1. Martina says:

    I’m so glad this issue is being taken up. I have been unfortunate to miss the Dubare camp visit due to non availability of boats and we’d realised that taken kids thru the slippery river isn’t a safe option. Settting up a hanging bridge will pave ways to the tourists especially children :))

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