Coorg is home to to the one of last of pristine forests of western ghats, rivers and streams and forms the catchment are of River Kaveri
Coorg Wildlife Society President K.C. Biddappa has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal, and Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi and Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar urging them to shelve the proposed Railway project from Kushalnagar to Madikeri through the ecologically fragile hilly terrain of Kodagu.
Mentioning that the project will kill River Cauvery that is a lifeline of over 1.5 crore people in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, he said that if the project sees the light of the day, entire population of agrarian belt from Talacauvery in Kodagu (birthplace of River Cauvery) till Poompuhar in TN (where Cauvery meets Bay of Bengal) will face a catastrophe without water.
Their primary source of livelihood — agriculture — will be destroyed if Cauvery dries up because of the Railway line. “Kodagu has already seen unprecedented landslides and hundreds of acres of coffee plantation along with houses being swept away during the rains that lashed the district in August last year. Hills abutting National Highway-275 collapsed and slid hundreds of meters into the valleys down below without leaving any trace of the existence of a National Highway, prompting the Centre to declare it as a national calamity. The proposal to start a new Railway line from Kushalnagar to Madikeri traversing through the mountainous terrain of around 30 kilometres is an invitation to a monumental environmental disaster,” he stated.
Many surveys have found that the proposed Railway line is unviable but still the project is pursued against the interests of the environment, Biddappa added.