What God has given to Mysureans, let us not destroy it: Save Chamundi Hill
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What God has given to Mysureans, let us not destroy it: Save Chamundi Hill

March 14, 2022

By Bhamy V. Shenoy

The latest ‘great idea’ to promote tourism under the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation And Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) Scheme is to install stainless steel railings on both the sides of 1,008 steps leading to Chamundi Betta. In this background, there is a need to select projects undertaken or proposed to promote tourism during the last thirty years to grade on the best to worst. We can use criteria like environmental protection, tourist attraction, preserving the spiritual space, economic justification, preventing caving of the hills and preserving heritage. However, installation of the railings will require a separate classification. This is because it is comparable to Tughlakian idea of moving capital from Delhi to Daulatabad.

Do these steps need railings? For whom? A Tughlakian idea.

Railings are useful for those aged people who cannot walk without any support. Are aged people interested to climb 1,008 steps to reach Chamundi Hill? Perhaps one person in one lakh, may be fit and daring to climb. In such rare cases, they are unlikely to need railings. Assuming they do need railings, are we justified to meet the needs of few?

Shocking level of Concretisation on Chamundi Hill

Should we use limited resources for a project which not only will not help any one, but in all likelihood harm the existing steps or divert to badly needed projects of preserving the biodiversity of the Chamundi Hill?

Let us now look at the “thousand cuts” that has made Chamundeshwari, which is beloved of Mysureans, to ask us to save her. Even as early as 1994, Karnataka Government had signed a contract for constructing a ropeway on Chamundi Hill with M/s Sikka Traders for Rs. 6.5 crore. Because of the protests led by MGP, it was dropped. Since then the ropeway project has been proposed by new Tourism Ministers or Mysuru’s leaders several times and has been buried each time.

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Latest attempt has been to convince the CM to propose ropeway under   “Parvatamala Scheme of Central Government.” More than likely it will also be shelved.

Some of the obvious “thousand cuts” that were already inflicted on the hill are: Construction of multi-storied parking complex, shopping complex, dasoha building and guest houses, and canopy for pilgrims waiting in line to enter the temple, allowing the operations of illegal shops, no restrictions of VIP cars to the gates of temples, concretisation of the hill top by permitting more than 1,000 houses and explosion of population to unsustainable limit of 4,200. 

Fortunately for Chamundeshwari, a four lane road was dropped, thanks to the objection by the Forest Department. Project to construct a canopy over the 1,008 steps was dropped, thanks to protests by activists. Latest “thousand cuts” proposed is a set of projects under  PRASHAD to beautify the hill top and add some more to concretisation.

Chamundeshwari wants us to leave nature to itself rather than us homo-sapiens interfering with it. It is worth pointing out the unintended benefit of recent caving on the roads to support the suggestion of nature taking care of itself. Since the caved road has been blocked for vehicle movement, walkers are able to enjoy the chirping of the birds, enjoying the enchanting dance of peacocks and seeing the roaming of wild animals. If nature can rejuvenate so quickly, imagine how the entire reserve forest of Chamundi  will look a few years down the road if we not only stop further concretisation, but start de-populating the top.

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Can we pay attention to the cries of Chamundeshwari and give up all proposed projects to attract tourists? What we need are ideas to green Chamundi Hill.

4 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “What God has given to Mysureans, let us not destroy it: Save Chamundi Hill”

  1. Captain Jack Sparrow says:

    Hey Barmy Shenoy
    You howl the loudest! It is a bit coming from you, a late settler to Mysuru, arriving in the city after1970s, along with a wave of non-Mysoreans who made the city planners to destroy the forest that encircled this beautiful city to accommodate housing for you, the foreigners to Mysuru. You were not born in Mysuru, was not brought up in Mysuru, and yet you shout the loudest to mask your own contribution to the eco system destruction of Mysuru. Your ‘Grahachara Parishad’ ( the MGP-with that bizarre name) is a swlf-serving crows of retirees who are foreigners to Mysuru.
    Always, an attention seeker-what happened to your open letter to PM Modi, about the piped gas project in Mysuru? I guess, he ignored it, despite your pompous profile you listed there. PM Modi is laughing that as an oil expert you are hiding in Mysuru, which has no connection to oil!
    You were the very daft originator of the plan to convert Devaraja Market into a Istanbul-style Grand Bazaar, an idiotic idea given the relative isolation of Mysuru geographically, and this crumbled Market sits on a very small space!
    Now, you have become a self-styled eco expert-any bull shit to make yourself visible, always an eye on politics.
    This Rope Way will be constructed, if the Karanataka government want it. There is nothing you or this SOM, which always thinks it has more influence than what the reality is, that is zilch!
    Best for you and Mr Ganapathy to spend your last years in peace and quiet, and that was the reason, you a foreigner chose Mysuru to settle.
    Mysuru is destroyed thanks to those masses of people who arrived after 1970s, and who had had no links to Mysuru. Your crowd triggered the destruction of the city through large numbers of immigrants coming to the city, became visitors to Chamundi Hill, driving cars on the Hill road, causing earth slides and now, you are the cretins responsible for this Hill’s destruction as the government plans tourism expansion.
    Typical Indian hypocrites.

  2. Captain Jack Sparrow says:

    Hey Barmy Shenoy
    You howl the loudest! It is a bit coming from you, a late settler to Mysuru, arriving in the city after1970s, along with a wave of non-Mysoreans who made the city planners to destroy the forest that encircled this beautiful city to accommodate housing for you, the foreigners to Mysuru. You were not born in Mysuru, was not brought up in Mysuru, and yet you shout the loudest to mask your own contribution to the eco system destruction of Mysuru. Your ‘Grahachara Parishad’ ( the MGP-with that bizarre name) is a swlf-serving crows of retirees who are foreigners to Mysuru.
    Always, an attention seeker-what happened to your open letter to PM Modi, about the piped gas project in Mysuru? I guess, he ignored it, despite your pompous profile you listed there. PM Modi is laughing that as an oil expert you are hiding in Mysuru, which has no connection to oil!
    You were the very daft originator of the plan to convert Devaraja Market into a Istanbul-style Grand Bazaar, an idiotic idea given the relative isolation of Mysuru geographically, and this crumbled Market sits on a very small space!
    Now, you have become a self-styled eco expert-any bull shit to make yourself visible, always an eye on politics.
    This Rope Way will be constructed, if the Karanataka government want it. There is nothing you or this SOM, which always thinks it has more influence than what the reality is, that is zilch!
    Best for you and Mr Ganapathy to spend your last years in peace and quiet, and that was the reason, you a foreigner chose Mysuru to settle.
    Mysuru is destroyed thanks to those masses of people who arrived after 1970s, and who had had no links to Mysuru. Your crowd triggered the destruction of the city through large numbers of immigrants coming to the city, became visitors to Chamundi Hill, driving cars on the Hill road, causing earth slides and now, you are the cretins responsible for this Hill’s destruction as the government plans tourism expansion.
    Typical Indian hypocrites.

  3. jhunjhunwalla says:

    Agree that @shenoy is an attention seeker.
    From my friends in Mysore who say that the loud protesters are the new comers to Mysore: There is an English saying :,having climbed up, pilling away the draw bridge!
    Yes, it is a bit rich, coming from this late settlers like him and Mr Ganapathy, who destroyed the Royal City, when they arrived in masses to settle in Mysore during late 1970s,, a city which they had no connection by birth or growing up. Having destroyed this city through massive settlement, increasing the population many fold, and creating pollution through their foreign model cars , they are the very miscreants who are howling about the destruction of the city, and opposition to Chamundi Hill Rope Way. Would Mr Ganapathy and Barmy Shenoy walk up the Hill climbing the 1000 steps. No they would not. They want to drive to the Temple! That is their hypocisy.
    The Government should go ahead and construct the Rope Way, ignoring protests from these Neanderthals. There is just a chance, that people ,some of these visitors, who would have used cars, may use the novelty of Rope Way.
    Looking through SOM archives, Mr Ganapathy’s son Vikram, the SOM editor now, indeed suggested Rope Way in one of his articles.
    Get on with it, ignoring these nay sayers.

  4. Chamanlal Maneklal Ghia says:

    Every culprit, corrupt politician and just about every Indian invokes God, but yet , the country gets destroyed in every way by the very people who invoke God! God has become very cheap to put forward their ideas which always have a motive: in most cases political.
    If this @Shenoy cares so much for this Chamundeshwari Hill-which I recently visited as I do business in your city, he should get his hands dirty-that means, not posting esoteric statements in a paper like this, but creating a movement encompassing people who care, meeting politicians-both in New Delhi and Karnataka, the PM and CM, and doing hard work to influence them the necessity of saving this Hill.
    This person @Shenoy has failed to convince the new CM of Karnataka, who is also the FM, that providing funds to Rope Way and exapnsion of thi Mysore airport,will eventually destroyed heritage sites like this Hill-the former: the RopeWay construction, will shatter the geological structureof the Hill and the latter -,the expansion of the airport, which is likely to attract the Indian , particularly, the Keralite expatriates from the Gulf and Middle East countries ( the larger airport in Bangalore will be reserved for long haul international flights to Western countries, leaving this airport to look for Eastward flights like to Singapore and Malaysia and not Australia, besides the Gulf countries). I know a few of these Keralite business men, who have shady business in Gulf States, have large money laundering operations, who are looking to relocate to Mysore and the vicinities once the airport expansion gets completed. Then the visitors numbers to this Hill will be multiplied many times, thus justifying the Rope Way project by the Karnataka government, who will argue that this Rope Way is necessary to divert the traffic from the Hill Road.
    @Shenoy is blowing hot air , having failed to create a movement which has large numbers on the ground of volunteers to lobby the CM and PM, besides politicians of all parties.
    I understand the Congress Party in Karnataka also wants this Rope Way expansion as well as airport expansion.
    @Shenoy must be doing this esoteric howl invoking the name of God for what? For his political ambition?

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