Saving Western Ghats: Air Marshall Cariappa gives credit to fellow environmenalists
Air Marshall K.C. Cariappa (retd) who was recently nominated as ‘Coorg Person of the Year’, has given credit to his fellow environmentalists in Kodagu in Karnataka for ably supporting him in his fight to prevent the formation of a road across the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary in the ecologically sensitive Western Ghats.
Reacting to the news on his nomination as ‘Coorg Person of the Year’ by the members of www.coorgtourisminfo.com, the first news portal of Kodagu, the Air Marshal said in a letter: “I confess to being surprised and indeed honoured that my fellow Kodavas/Kodagina should have approved of me. It is important to put into perspective that the moving force behind the public interest litigation (filed before the Supreme Court) was Wildlife First and its many dedicated personnel.
“Here in Kodagu, we have KM Chinappa and Thammoo Poovaiah to name just two stalwarts, and in Bangalore there is Pravin Bhargava who is quite indefatigable in his quest for an environment-friendly population. That stated, Colonel CP Muthanna (President of the Coorg Wildlife Society) has, I think been singularly responisble for the Coorg Wildlife Society getting due recognition for its conservation efforts.”
In a blatant violation of the law, the Kodagu district administration, backed by the two Kodagu MLAs, and supported by local villagers attempted to lay a road through the Pushpagiri reserve forest, amid opposition from Karnataka forest officials. This was opposed by the Air Marshal and his fellow environmentalists.
The controversial road is a seven km stretch between Madikeri and Subramanya near Mangalore in Dakshina Kannada district. Over 400 villagers from Galibeedu near Madikeri, deployed earthmovers to make the road. Their contention was that the road would shorten the distance between Kodagu and Subramanya.
Air Marshal Cariappa is the son of the late Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa, the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army.