Following a court order, the forest Department has stayed the work on high-tension power line project passing through Kodagu district.

In view of the objections raised from the district’s environmentalists and protests staged by various organisations, tight Police security had been provided for the project which aims to provide power from Tamil Nadu’s Kudankulam nuclear power project to Kerala, passing through reserve forest area in Kushalnagar.

When the Power Grid Corporation started the work of laying the 400 KV high-tension line that passes through Kodagu on May 22, 2013, the Police stopped it. It is alleged that MP A.H. Vishwanath brought pressure on the administration to stop the work.

The work on laying the cable has been completed in Kerala as well as in Tamil Nadu and the authorities are waiting to complete the work in Kodagu so that the project could be commissioned at the earliest. High-tension lines have been laid from Kozhikode in Kerala to Kutta (border of South Kodagu), and from Yelwala in Mysore to Lingapura (another border of Kodagu). Laying wires in South Kodagu is important for wheeling power.

Kaveri Sene Association’s Convenor Ravi Chengappa, who visited Lingapura village near Kushalnagar where the cable-laying work was to commence, told press persons that a large quantity of forest wealth will be lost due to the callousness of the Forest Department officials for allowing the power project. “Apart from the loss of flora and fauna, it would also result in the wild animals plundering the farmers’ properties. To lay the high-tension line, more than 20,000 trees in the forest are going to be felled,” he said and added, “Despite the court’s order not to take up any works in the Elephant Corridor, the high tension line is being laid.”

Coorg Wildlife Society President Col. C.P. Muthanna, speaking on the occasion, said that the project was being taken up by violating court order. He expressed fear that the man-animal conflict will increase if this project is taken up.

Laying of high-tension wire would connect the wires in Manandavadi in Kerala via Maldare, Polibetta, Thithimathi, Devarapura, Ponnappasanthe, Kanur, Nalkeri and Kutta in South Kodagu. When the project was announced, it had evoked strong opposition from environmental organisations and they had claimed that it would lead to destruction of forest and felling of over 20,000 trees. Attempts were also made by some of the organisations to create public opinion.

The Power Grid Corporation has all necessary permissions from all the concerned, including the Karnataka government, before initiating the project. For felling over 2,621 trees, the Corporation has paid Rs. 98 lakh to the forest department. It had even sought permission from National Tiger Conservation Authority.

The power produced at the 2000-MW Kudankulam nuclear power project in Tamil Nadu is to be supplied to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore