‘Rajaseat’ in Madikeri is noted for its natural beauty, mesmerising landscape of trees, valleys and greenery all in onespot, which has made it a ‘must visit’ spot for tourists. Unplanned tinkering with this famous view point would not only destroy the originality of the ‘Rajaseat’ but would also destroy the serenity and tranquillity that visitors experience here. ‘Rajaseat’ would have to be renamed as ‘Tourist seat’or ‘Ministers seat’, or ‘Officers seat’ if such unplanned changes take place. I am putting certain matters in the public domain since it has been brought to my notice that officials concerned with the affairs of ‘Rajaseat’ have got a project approved by the Govt. for the development of Rajaseat at a cost of Rs. 11.87 crores, all done in a hush hush manner, with the citizens of Madikeri being kept in the dark.
‘Vakeela Spandana’ an advocates forum in Madikeri which is manned by five senior advocates, B B Ananda,
M S Biddappa, K K Nirmalananda, T H Abubakar and C T Muthappa is striving for the wellbeing of the people of Kodagu has unearthed this irregularity named ‘Development of Rajaseat’ project. To certain officials, development of Tourism means demolishing original monuments and substituting it with man made constructions, thereby replacing natural and man made wonders with artificial replicas. Most astonishing fact of this 11.87 crore project is, that this illconcived project is sanctioned by the Govt. without any feasibility report, project report, estimate, plan, report from different departments, expert committees and No Objection Certificate (N.O.C.) from the Archeological Dept. (Rajaseat is an archeological monument).
This is against all the norms prescribed for sanctioning and executing projects worth crores of rupees. Everything has been done in a hush-hush manner all in the name of tourism. ‘Vakeela Spandana’ has written to all the concerned officers on 20-3-2014 not to implement this project.
Developing Rajaseat by changing its natural environment is not the need of the hour. There are a good number of other things to be tackled and redressed on priority in Madikeri, for example :-
1. Providing parking facilities for vehicles, if this is not done on a priority basis Mann’s compound and other play grounds in Madikeri will be converted to parking areas, as is the case with Gandhi Maidan. (I was a student of St.Michael’s school. Now it pains me to see that this ground is being used as a parking lot.)
2) Providing clean and well maintained Toilets with sufficient water.
3) Providing foot paths throughout Madikeri.
4) Covering of all storm drains.
Unplanned and unscientific modifications to Rajaseat means more hardship’s to the locals. Officers may come and go but the citizens of Madikeri will continue to dwell here. The citizens want to live peacefully devoid of the crowd’s and pollution of all sorts (sound, air etc.) The Dist administration must stop immediately all the proposed developmental activities at Rajaseat. They should pay heed to the request of the ‘Vakeela Spandana’ and desist from giving artificial touch ups to the Rajaseat. Citizens of Madikeri love nature. They do not want to see artificial beauty. Leave Rajaseat as it is. Improvements, if required, should be made only after getting the consent of the elected representatives of C.M.C. Madikeri, after consulting the citizens of Madikeri, and after observing all the formalities and permission required for the purpose.
I implore the citizens of Madikeri to join hands with “Vakeela Spandana” in their efforts to maintain the originality and serenity of Madikeri.
The author is a retd Tashildar and an expert on revenue matters of Kodagu
Courtesy: Coffeeland News