Tonnes of waste from Kerala stuck in Kabini Backwaters cleared
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Tonnes of waste from Kerala stuck in Kabini Backwaters cleared

June 27, 2021

Forest personnel, ‘Namma Mysuru’ volunteers and resort staff undertake seven-hour ‘Shramadhan’

By M.T. Yogesh Kumar

Mysore/Mysuru: Seven hours of rigorous ‘Shramadhan’ by Forest Department personnel, volunteers and staff of resorts has yielded three loads of banned plastic and other waste that came floating from Kerala side and got struck at Kabini Dam in H.D. Kote taluk. This has prevented possible health hazard for wildlife.

The first rain during monsoon in Kerala brings with it plastic and other waste dumped by villagers living on both sides of the river, and get stored in Kabini Backwater attached to Nagarahole Tiger Reserve. Plastic items, thrown by tourists on roadside, come floating in water to reach Kabini backwaters thus endangering lives of wildlife in Metikuppe and D.B. Kuppe range of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve. Earlier, trucks carrying medical and other waste from Kerala were stealthily dumping it in villages on forest border in Gundlupet taluk of Chamarajanagar district. But now it has stopped after local people protested. Now, the garbage from Kerala was dumped on the outskirts of Nanjangud. This has aggravated problem.

Life in danger

Drinking of water mixed with plastic and other garbage cause health hazard for elephants. The plastic entangles with the antlers and legs of deer, sambar, bison and birds. Due to shortage of foliage during summer, the wild animals feed on garbage and plastic waste dumped by neighbouring State.

Understanding this, the Forest Department personnel, along with ‘Namma Mysuru’ volunteers and resort staff, undertook ‘Kabini Backwaters Cleaning Drive’ and retrieved three truckloads of garbage. They recovered 600 bags of hazardous waste including banned plastic, rubber pieces, footwear, empty liquor bottles, empty water bottles, nylon thread and metal pieces.

Kabini Cleaning Special Drive

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Every year plastic clearance drive was held in small scale. This year, it was held in a big scale under the banner of ‘Kabini Cleaning Special Drive’ in which 100 Forest Department personnel, 80 staff from local resorts and 25 volunteers from ‘Namma Mysuru’ Foundation participated from various ranges of Nagarahole Tiger Reserve. This drive was held in 12-km area in Kabini Backwaters from 7 am to 2.30 pm.

Those who participated in it included Nagarahole Tiger Project Director D. Mahesh Kumar, Metikuppe Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF) S.T. Mahadev,  D.B. Kuppe Range Forest Officer (RFO) K.L. Madhu, Antharasanthe RFO S.S. Siddaraju, Gundre RFO Shashidhargowda and Namma Mysuru Foundation Head Dasharath.

Forest personnel from three ranges, ‘Namma Mysuru’ Foundation and local resorts staff undertook this drive in the interest of wildlife. It is a good initiative. —D. Mahesh Kumar, Director,  Nagarahole Tiger Reserve

It was required to retrieve three loads of hazardous waste in the interest of environment protection. So, we have  removed it from the backwaters and the shore”. —K.L. Madhu, RFO,  D.B. Kuppe

Reusable furniture will be made out of the waste retrieved from Backwaters. We have prepared flowerpots, tables and others from it. —K. Dasharath, Head,  ‘Namma Mysuru’ Foundation

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