The Railway minister’s annonoucement on as survey for a Railway link through Mysore-Kushalnagar-Madikeri and the proposal for a railway link from Mangalore to Madikeri has the environmentalists in Coorg worried.
Enviromentalists pointed out that the bus service to Coorg has been excellent and the govt would do a better job by maintaining the roads.
The leader of Mysore Industries Association, Suresh Kumar Jai has even proposed a direct train connectivity from Madikeri to Mangalore as according to him the freight traffic will be high on this section.
Col Muthanna the principal advisor of CWS on coorgtourisminfo.com pointed out that;
The railway line will pass through forests of the Somwarpet sub-division. This area already has one of the most severe levels of Human Elephant conflict in the entire country. The Harangi and Chiklihole dams together with other pressures has isolated a population of about fifty elephants that are literally trapped North of Cauvery River. The Railway line will only add to the woes of both people and elephants. Calf elephants will not be able to clamber up the steep rail embankments. This will further restrict the movement of entire sub-herds that are struggling to cope with severely fragmented forests. Already there are calls to trans-locate the entire herd. It would be a tragic situation of removing the species rather than saving and improving the habitat. To the West, as the railway line exits through the Western Ghat forests of Kodagu, it will compound the degradation and destruction of our precious evergreen forests. Due to various disturbances in the Kadmakal and Pattighat Range, elephant intrusion into villages near the forests is very frequent.
We have to see if the railway link will ever see the light of the day as this is environmental clearance involved from the Ministry of Environment and Forest.