Buoyed by the resounding success of “Chamundi Betta Ulisi” or “Save Chamundi Hills” campaign, eco volunteers of the city led by Let’s Do It! Mysore is chalking out the next plan of action to stall the state government’s destructive development atop the pristine hills.
Clad in black, thousands of people including the young and the old had climbed the hills holding placards and banners on May 29 to protest against the state government’s plan to destroy the sensitive ecosystem of the hills in the name of development. The campaign got good support from noted writers, environment activists and the Mysuru royal family.
The government has already initiated the works by clearing the debris atop the rocky terrain and “KBR Infratech Limited” has already put up signboards indicating that development works were in progress. Barricades have been erected and earthmovers are at work.
Sources said that the company has bagged the initial Rs 40 crore contract for development works multi-level parking, guest houses, shopping complex etc. The government has estimated the total cost at Rs 80 crore.
Alarmed by construction activities, the activists have launched an online petition asking people to register their protest. Also, noted environmental crusader Medha Patkar would be contacted for the issue to gain national attention.
According to volunteers from Let’s Do It! Mysore, schools, colleges and several associations including resident welfare groups would be contacted to garner support for their movement.
“Activities including protest in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office, candle light march have been planned along with exploring legal options,” said a volunteer. “We want to exert legal and local pressure to force the government to have a rethink on its misadventure,” he added. Volunteers are also planning to file a Public Interest Litigation in the Karnataka High Court. It may be mentioned here that the Mysore Grahakara Parish-at (MGP) has already filed its application before the National Green Tribunal (NGT) seeking immediate stoppage to the construction. The MGP has tried to impress upon NGT the ecological damage such construction work would lead to.
JUNE 5 GREEN RALLY
On June 5, volunteers will assemble at the North Gate of the Amba Vilas Palace and take out a march to spread awareness and seek public support to stall the development works. “Instead of holding candles, we will hold saplings to convey the importance of greenery and ecology. We want to put brakes on the government move,” said B S Prashanth, the head of Mysore Travel Mart and CEO of Safe Wheels.
Along with awareness rallies, activists have plans to involve software and IT firms in Mysuru including Infosys, SPI and Theorem. Also, student organisations like ABVP, NSUI, and AIDSO would be roped in to spread awareness. “The intention is to get maximum attention from every citizen of Mysuru to save the hills that is a nature’s gift,” the volunteers said.
“Innovative plans are also afoot to form a human chain around the entire circumference of the hills. Also we are contacting Sunita Narain, environmentalist and political activist as well as a major proponent of the Green concept of sustainable development. We want to gain national attention,” they added.
The Mysore Grahakara Parishat, in association with The Institution of Engineers (Mysore Local Centre), Builders Association of India and Let’s Do it! Mysore is organising a meeting at 6 PM on Friday, June 3 at the Institution of Engineers. The government is proposing to spend Rs 80 crore to construct multi-level parking, guest houses, shopping complex etc. and widen the roads. The project has both supporters and detractors. The main objective of the meeting is to bring on the same platform both supporters and opponents of the project. MLA G T Devegowda and noted writer Dr S L Bhyrappa would participate.