Ravi Kushalappa the convenor of Madikeri “Akrama-Sakrama Samiti” accused environmentalists for all the ills in Kodagu and said that such NGO’s should be banished from Coorg. He further added that ” BJP has demanded the district officials to banish such people working against the interests of Coorg “.
Speaking to reporters yesterday he said that if the natural sites in Coorg are declared as World Heritage Site by the UNESCO – it will endanger the lives of people in Kodagu.
His comments come after the officials of the prestigious IUCN(International Union for Conservation of Nature) who had come to prepare an report on the proposed sites, were heckled out of Coorg by some political and non-political organisations in Coorg.
Deccan Herald had mentioned in their news report on 19th that;
The protesters followed the team till their rest room and demanded that the foreigners should not be allowed to stay in Kodagu even for minute. They warned the Forest Officials of dire consequences if the team was not sent out of Kodagu immediately.
Though the forest officials tried to reason with the protesters, the agitators would have none of that and continued with indulging in unruly behavior in front of the IUCN & forest officials, not even letting the officials to have their food.
The disgusted IUCN officials had to head back to bangalore without having a chance to complete their report properly.
Most of the members who participated in the unruly protest are affiliated with the BJP in Coorg. ZP President V M Vijaya, Members Manu Muthappa, S N Rajarao, TP President H S Subhashini were also a part of the protest.
The Forest officials have blamed local political groups and vested interests for the ‘ill-informed’ agitation.
Advisor to Coorg Wildlife Society, Colonel Muthanna hit back all the allegations of Ravi Kushalappa and others stating;
We were unaware of the visit, we have nothing to do with their official visit. Those who are agitating against the proposal are either ill-informed or have vested interest in not letting it happen. To the best of my knowledge it involves many eco-fragile areas of western ghats in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Though we did not propose to the UNESCO anything in this regard, we support it – if it will include the Talacauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. If these three wildlife sanctuaries are declared as World Heritage Site, they will be better managed and protected from vested interests in Coorg who in the name of development want to even rape the protected wildlife reserves in Coorg.
Coorg.com has found out that the proposal to include the 3 wildlife sanctuaries which are part of the western ghats in Coorg was proposed by Nature Conservation Foundation and Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment in 2006 and seems to be backed up the central government. And according to the report it will only includes the area of the already existing wildlife sanctuaries of Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary (92.65 km²), Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary (181.29 km²) & Talacauvery Wildlife Sanctuary (105.01 km²), all of which are pristine rainforest’s of Coorg.
More information about the same can be found here.