Shocking: Resort encroaches on Devarakadu near Igguthappa Temple
In a brazen act, a private resort management has felled a large number of trees in the vicinity of the Igguthappa temple near Kakkabe in Kodagu district, sparking protests from local villagers.
The resort management has allegedly encroached on Devarakadu (sacred groves) forest near the Igguthappa temple, the second most important temple for the Kodava community after Talacauvery.
The villagers around Kakkabe, Ballamavati and the surrounding areas staged protest on Tuesday against the destruction of trees on Devarakadu and demanded action against the resort management.
According to reports, trees had been felled on 100 acres and work was on to construct a tank encompassing an area of one acre inside the resort coming up on the road en route to Malma hillock.
Ravi Chengappa of the Cauvery Sena said the villagers would stage a demonstration in front of the forest office at Madikeri on June 3 to protest against the plunder of Devarakadu.
The Managing Director of Thamara Coorg Resort Mathew has claimed that “no rules have been violated.”
Mathew maintained that “license has been taken from the Gram Panchayat for constructing the resort. The work was started after taking permission from tourism and environment department.”
An official of the resort was quoted as saying that in the first phase, 30 cottages had been constructed. In the second phase, 26 more cottages would be built.
EDITOR’S VIEW: The district administration of Kodagu should immediately stop giving permission for building resorts in forest land, especially near Devarakadus.
Though the Thamara Coorg Resort management has claimed that they have obtained all governmental clearances, it is no secret how unscrupulous elements manage to obtain these licences.
The resort should not be allowed to function if they have encroached on forest land.
The Madikeri municipality is trying to extend its jurisdiction to neighbouring villages with a view to allow conversion of agricultural lands into commercial areas. This should not be allowed under any circumstance to happen because this could damage the fragile ecology of the region. As it is Madikeri is facing severe water scarcity.