Save Kodagu or Coorg

Created on: January 22, 2012 Last Updated on: January 22, 2013

Madikeri Urban Development Authority (MUDA) has prepared a Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) to bring about huge, drastic and disastrous changes in land use pattern in and around Madikeri/Mercara, Kodagu/Coorg, Karnataka.  The MUDA unfortunately plans/wants/proposes to convert large chunks of forest and agricultural lands into commercial lands. The area of the Kodagu district is 4,102 sq. km only.

In 40 years, Kodagu stripped of forests - Manu Aiyappa, Times News Network (TNN) / Times of India (TOI), June 18, 2011, 08:39am IST 
Created on: January 22, 2012 Last Updated on: January 22, 2013

The Madikeri Urban Development Authority (MUDA) has prepared a Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) to bring about huge, drastic and disastrous changes in land use pattern in and around Madikeri/Mercara, Kodagu/Coorg, Karnataka.  The MUDA unfortunately plans/wants/proposes to convert large chunks of forest and agricultural lands into commercial lands. The area of the Kodagu district is 4,102 sq. km only.

In 40 years, Kodagu stripped of forests - Manu Aiyappa, Times News Network (TNN) / Times of India (TOI), June 18, 2011, 08:39am IST

Kodagu/Coorg is going/getting/becoming fully/totally/completely bald progressively and irreversibly with the each passing day. In 1970s, 86% of Kodagu was forest/green cover. 40% of this land was converted into coffee estates. Developmental projects shaved off green/forest cover to 16%. Trend shows annual/yearly net loss of 20-26 sqkm of forest/green cover.

Source URLs/Links for this petition:



03) Article By Col (Rtd) C P Muthanna in Coffeeland News – Print Edition, Madikeri, December 21, 2012 


B.B.Subbaiah may be right. The Coorg Investor Meet seems like a Land Grab Meet –, Thursday, December 20, 2012 
Most of the land in and around Madikeri is either forest land/preserves or agricultural land. According to the news reports, 25,000 acres around Madikeri are up for grabs.

India's being gobbled up by developers. India's up for grabs - Jug Suraiya, Associate Editor, Times of India (TOI), Online/Internet Edition, Thursday, November 01, 2012, 10:16 PM IST
Print Edition dated Friday, November 02, 2012 

We the petition signers / signatories firmly object to
Madikeri Urban Development Authority's (MUDA's) ecologically / environmentally destructive / ruinous / catastrophic / calamitous plans/proposals to create residential and commercial infrastructure in Madikeri because of the following reasons:

01) Drinking water supply:
The Madikeri City receives over 100 inches of rainfall annually and yet the/its residents have to depend on tankers for supply of drinking water during summer months. This indicates a fragile/delicate hill ecology that is prone to water stress due to increased population. When this is the case, how on God's earth will/would the CMC (City Municipal Council) ensure water security for an increased population of 50,000? It has been stated in the MUDA proposal that the water supply will be augmented by digging additional bore wells. Such rampant/unchecked/unrestricted exploitation of ground water in hill/hilly areas will have disastrous repercussions/consequences/effect on the water table for Madikeri and the/its surrounding areas.

02) Inflow into Cauvery/Kaveri river:
Kodagu contributes about 50% (50 per cent) of the inflow into Cauvery/Kaveri river. The Kodagu landscape is the main catchment area/basin and a/an vital/important/essential watershed for Cauvery/Kaveri River. Nearly eight/08 crore people depend on the Cauvery for drinking and irrigation needs. Such ecologically/enviromentally sensitive areas (and eco-sensitive zones) need to be kept free from demographic pressures. Kodagu has already been plagued by unchecked and unplanned urbanisation/development. Further urbanisation and industrialisation of Kodagu will/would seriously pose a threat/danger to both the quantum and quality of water flow/inflow into the Cauvery river. People of Mysore, Mandya and Bangalore are/were already facing drinking water shortage. Cauvery waters would get depleted completely because of unsustainable development of Kodagu. Therefore, the protection and preservation of the Kodagu landscape in general and Madikeri landscape in particular is in India's own national interest.

03) Kodagu/Coorg as ESA1
: The Western Ghats Ecology Experts Panel (WGEEP) constituted under orders of the Government of India (GoI) in its recently submitted report has recommended all three taluks of Kodagu (Madikeri/Mercara, Virajpet and Somwarpet) to be identified under the category of Eco Sensitive Area 1 (ESA1).

04) Traffic congestion, water scarcity, garbage accumulation and pollution due to tourism: The MUDA proposal states that 'Madikeri will be declared a Tourist Resort'. It is also mentioned that areas near the Golf Course are suitable for setting up three star and five star hotels. MUDA needs to study the Karnataka Tourism Policy 2009-2014 as published by the Department of Tourism, Government of Karnataka. Paragraph 3, Annexure 1 of this document reads as follows: 'Eco- Tourism in Western Ghat districts like Kodagu, Chikmagalur and Shimoga is an important component of Karnataka Tourism. In order to preserve the serene atmosphere of these locales, it is important not to encourage construction of large hotels and to encourage home stay facilities in different parts of these districts.' Madikeri is already facing problems due to pressures of tourism. This is manifested by traffic congestion, water scarcity, accumulation of garbage and air / water / noise pollution etc.

05) Environmental/Environment Impact Assessment (EIA): EIA by an independent and non-political/apolitical non-governmental agency of an unimpeachable/impeccable honesty and integrity has not been conducted.

06) Hill Station Regulations: Constructions are not permitted on areas in Hill Stations that are equal to or steeper than 1:3
For further details kindly/please refer to: Government of India, Union Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) order No: No. 21-9/2011-IA.III dated 13th October, 2011 Regarding Environmental Clearance for the Development of Hill Station Township First phase (2000 ha.) at Village Mulshi and Velhe Talukas, District Pune, Maharashtra by M/s Lavasa Corporation Ltd. (3.8 MB, 70 Pages) (3.8 MB, 70 Pages)

07) Guidelines for declaration of Eco-Sensitive Zones around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries:
Madikeri is located within ten km radius of the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary. MUDA must therefore take into full consideration the Guidelines for declaration of Eco Sensitive Zones around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries as given in Union Ministry of Environment and Forests [Wildlife Division], in their letter No F. No. 1-9/2007 WL- I(pt) dated 9th February, 2011, addressed to Chief Wildlife Wardens of All States and Union Territories.

All proposals to convert those lands previously objected to or refused by the Government: MUDA has included all proposals for conversion of those lands previously objected to / refused by the government.

09) Absence of small rivulets/streams in certain maliciously misrepresented topographical maps in CDP:
Certain  topographical maps in the Comprehensive Development Plan CDP have been maliciously / intentionally / deliberately misrepresented, in order to avoid showing small rivulets/streams, fearing their plans may not be cleared by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) as also Secretary, Forest, Ecology and Environment, Bangalore.

Cauvery Sene and other like-minded organisations such as Coorg Wildlife Society (CWS), Field Marshal Cariappa General Thimayya Forum, Kodava Samaja Madikeri (KSM), Basavana Devarkadu Samrakshana Samithi and Kodagu Retired Defence Officers Association, have come together and urged the Karnataka government against going ahead with the plan in the national interest. Besides, farmers from Mandya district, headed by G. Made Gowda, and the 'Cauvery family' comprising stake-holders in Cauvery river water, have opposed the move to open up Kodagu for investment by unscrupulous business persons.

Some of Cauvery Sene's objections
River Cauvery sustains over six hundred major industries across South India. These changes proposed in CDP, if effected will/would have far reaching consequences on rainfall pattern, local temperature, ground water recharging and eco-balance, resulting in permanent destruction of perennial/seasonal streams, occurrence of huge landslides in and around Madikeri. The people of Kodagu have filed their objections in large numbers (270 objections), to these sudden changes, which will adversely affect the climate of Kodagu and the rainfall pattern of this watershed district.

The following abbreviations have been used in this petition

MUDA: Madikeri Urban Development Authority ( )

CWS: Coorg Wildlife Society ( )

In 40 years, Kodagu stripped of forests - Manu Aiyappa, Times News Network (TNN) / Times of India (TOI), June 18, 2011, 08:39am IST

Going Bald

In 1970s, 86% of Kodagu was forest cover

40% of this land was converted into coffee estates

Development, projects shaved off green cover to 16%

Trend shows annual net loss of 20-26 sqkm

Brahmagiri (Kodagu): From 86 to 16 -- that's the percentage of green/forest cover Kodagu lost over the past four decades (1970-2011) due to unabated illegal timber smuggling and development initiatives by the government and locals.

"Kodagu, which had about 86% of its land under forest cover in the late 1970s, now has a mere 16%. This includes about 40% which has been converted into coffee estates. If things continue in this way, we may end up with no forest in Kodagu by 2025,'' said K M Chinnappa, chairman of Wildlife First, a state-level NGO fighting for environment and wildlife.

Data from various sources collected by NGOs states that dense forests extend to more than 4,102 sqkm and reserved forests to 830 sqkm. The trend shows a net loss of more than 20-26 sqkm every year in greenery.

Environmentalists point out that illegal timber lobbies are active in the region - both from Karnataka and Kerala. They said that despite continuous media reports about the illegal timber trade in nexus with forest officials, there has been little impact.

State govt is the Enemy No.1 of the forests. You'll not rest till our forests are destroyed.
: Karnataka High Court - Bangalore Mirror (BM), Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 10:33:38 PM

That was the extent of the tongue-lashing the High Court of Karnataka gave the government while hearing PILs (Public Interest Litigations) on two mini-hydel projects which have allegedly encroached on forest land in the state. S Shyam Prasad gives the full account of the court's wrath

The High Court pulls/pulled no punches in castigating the Karnataka government for its 'stewardship' of forests; says it is only interested in giving away the  state's resources to 'aliens' and 'big people'

Enemy No. 1 of Forests. That was the extent of the tongue-lashing an offended High Court of Karnataka gave the state government while disposing of two PILs against two mini-hydel power projects in the Western Ghats.

Justice Shylendra Kumar pulled no punches while observing that the government was doing its best to destroy the state's forests. A sampling of his remarks:

Red Carpet For Aliens
You will not rest till the forests are destroyed. Why are you giving permission to private parties? The government's responsibility is towards saving our forests and our country. You are saying our forests are reserved for aliens and investors. When the people of our country are without food and shelter, the only thing you are interested is in laying a red carpet and giving away our resources to aliens. You want to destroy forests so that some big people can relax in AC rooms.

Load-shedding drama
There is horrible mismanagement. You are not concerned when electricity is wasted in cities, but every two months you come up with a drama called load-shedding.

Licence for drinking water!
A day will come when you will issue licences for drinking water. Not just rivers, you will end up damming even creeks and streams for hydel projects.

Not Government property
The government should work for the welfare of the people. But the public do not see you as benefactors. In the eyes of the people, the government has the same image as the police. There are many Acts protecting forests and trees, but forest officers give permission to cut trees under the same Acts. Rivers are drying up because of this. The state has become a ripe fruit for rich investors ... if you are doing your duty properly there is no need for people to file PILs.

Biz in cloak of charity
Many people are indulging in business in the name of charity. Even if the Union government has given clearance to the project, the final decision rests with you. You can take action if there is any breach of law. You can also cancel the lease. Why are you bent upon such projects in forest land? You destroy forests and displace people for the projects. But you give the same people power for half an hour. You waste 100 rupees and save one rupee. Is this your policy? Forests are not going to come back. Forget your commercial thinking and realise that you are the custodian of the land and forests for this and coming generations. You are not the owners."

Govt wants to allot 25,000 Acres at Madikeri to Investors & MUDA wants to expand Madikeri - Staff Reporter,, Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 

Despite calls by the Cauvery Family (a group of farmer leaders from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu formed to resolve the dispute/issue regarding sharing of Cauvery/Kaveri waters) to cancel the investors' meet , the Coorg/Kodagu Investors' Meet was held at Madikeri on Tuesday, December 18, 2012.

The Karnataka Government held the Investors' Meet to sign MoU and offer lands around Madikeri to the Investors for setting up industries.

The MUDA (Madikeri Urban Development Authority) is planning to expand Madikeri town by including villages in and around Madikeri. Currently the area under MUDA is 17 square kilometers.

The Local and Environmental Organisations suspect the move proposed by MUDA is to - benefit Hotels and Resort Entrepreneurs who want to set-up their ventures in and around Madikeri and are afraid that the expansion will harm the fragile eco-system of Coorg.

MUDA's plan to expand Madikeri flayed - Madikeri, Deccan Herald, Monday, December 3, 2012 
The move will destroy greenery

Various organisations have opposed the move of Madikeri Urban Development Authority (MUDA) to expand Madikeri town by including villages in and around Madikeri.

Coorg Wildlife Society (CWS) Vice-President Poonaccha: The expansion of Madikeri town will destroy greenery in Madikeri. The hillocks will be damaged. Destruction of forest in the name of expansion will affect rain pattern in the district. Mysore, Bangalore, Tamil Nadu and Kerala will get water only when Kodagu receives good rainfall. Scanty rainfall will affect the supply of drinking water.

Kodagu Muslim Hitharakshana Vedike member Mohsin/Mohisin: The expansion of the town will harm environment. The proposal should be dropped.

Cauvery Sene convener Ravi Chengappa: Madikeri comes under eco sensitive zone and its forests are known for their flora and fauna. The expansion of the town will destroy the eco-system.

Save Kodagu Forum President Madhu Bopanna: The move of the MUDA will benefit hotel and resort owners.

Coorg Wildlife Society opposes investors' meet for Kodagu - The Hindu, Bangalore, Sunday, December 16, 2012 

Call off investors meet in Kodagu: Forum - By Express News Service - Bangalore 16th December 2012 09:02 AM 

Farmers oppose investors meet at Madkeri - MB Maramkal, Times News Network (TNN) / Times of India (TOI), Monday, December 17, 2012, 05:29 PM IST 

Farmers want Coorg investors' meet cancelled - Mysore, Times News Network (TNN) / Times of India,, Tuesday, December 18, 2012, 06.37AM IST 

The Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS), Hasiru Sene and Cauvery Family had urged the government to cancel the investors' meet that were scheduled on Tuesday, December 18, 2012 and not to sign any MoU with investors.

Cauvery Family: Is a group of farmer leaders from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu formed to resolve the issue/dispute regarding sharing of Cauvery river waters.

Cauvery Family's Karnataka state convener B B Subbaiah: Any effort by the Karnataka government to attract investors and allot 25,000 acres around Madikeri to them will affect the eco-system, ultimately leading to the death of Cauvery river itself. The Western Ghats has been categorized as one of the nine eco-sensitive zones in the world, and any industrial activity in the region will affect it badly. Kodagu receives an average of 120-150 inch rainfall every year. But it's not received even half of that in 2012. This indicates that Kodagu is already being harmed. We suspect the involvement of land mafia/grabbers and farmers from other states behind this move.

Kodagu a hotspot for wildlife meat trade - Manu Aiyappa, Times News Network (TNN) / Times of India (TOI), Thursday, June 23, 2011, 08:04pm IST 

Madikeri (Kodagu): Wild meat hunting and consumption is an integral part of the life of some communities in Kodagu, about 250 km from Bangalore. Some remote villages close to wildlife sanctuaries identified by the Unesco for World Heritage tag are essentially now the hotspots for the wildlife meat trade.

Under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, it is illegal to sell or buy any wildlife or wildlife products that have/had been hunted from the wild. Those found guilty can/could/may be fined between Rs.10,000 and 50,000. But this has/had not deterred the people here either from killing, selling or buying.

When this TNN/TOI correspondent interviewed the locals at Karike and Kandmal villages, the locals said that a few open wild meat markets still exist in different villages across the district. Some also have access to sell the meat to influential in the district including those officials from various departments.

The potential hunters are tribes who brutally kill the animals before selling to traders who bring the meat to the market after cleaning them. Later they are sold clandestinely to known buyers only. A wild boar meat these days cost for Rs. 400-500 per Kg and a barking deer for Rs 1,500-2,000 per kg. These meats are very much in demand in this part of the region.

''The women who generally manage such shops told us that while selling vegetables earned them about Rs 200 a day wild meat got them Rs 2,000. Most of what was hunted was for local consumption previously has become a big business,'' says Pattada Ravi Cariappa, an animal lover. Meat, fur, bones and everything is bought these days, sometimes as food and sometimes as decoration.

One hunter this TNN/TOI correspondent interviewed under the guise of a buyer at Kakabe told TOI that while areas around villages would once pulse with wildlife, they now had to walk miles to even glimpse an animal an indicator of reduction in the population of animals in the wild.

Petition Signers/Signatories Appeal/Request/Demand:
Therefore in the light of the above-mentioned incontrovertible/irrefutable facts and figures we the petition signers/signatories appeal for the immediate cancellation of the eco-unfriendly Comprehensive Development Plan (CDP) proposed by MUDA and also all the memorandums of understanding (MoUs) signed during the recent investors' meet in/at Madikeri/Mercara, Headquarters (HQ) of the Kodagu/Coorg District (on December 18, 2012).

FKCCI expects Rs. 1,000 cr. investments at Coorg Investors Meet - Mysore, Wednesday, December 5, 2012 
The Coorg Investors' Meet (CIM) was held in Madikeri on Tuesday, December 18, 2012. There's a shortage of electricity and water in Kodagu. The state government unfortunately plans to develop a mini-airport in Kodagu/Coorg.

Six tourism projects to be offered for private participation - Staff Correspondent, Madikeri, The Hindu, Sunday, April 16, 2006 
Terms and conditions are being finalised, says official

There are 10 Assistant Directors of Tourism for 27 districts

Jungle Lodges and Resorts at Dubare to be inaugurated by May 2006

Plea to link Kodagu by rail till Kushalnagar

Investors' meet to be held in Madikeri in July 2006

Eco-friendly industries should come up in Kodagu: CM Shettar – Madikeri, Deccan Herald, Tuesday, December 18, 2012 
The government will unfortunately take up the work on mini airport at Koodige, railwayline till Kushalnagar, medical college in Madikeri, etc. (all in the hilly district of Kodagu/Coorg).

Timber lobby trying to hack open the Trees Act - Praveen Bhargav, Trustee, Wildlife First in Panorama, Deccan Herald 
A major timber scam has again been detected in Kodagu. This forested district had witnessed massive timber felling during 1993-94. After considerable damage and public outcry, a high-level enquiry was ordered but not even a single offender or indicted forest officer was punished.

On December 12, 1996, the supreme court passed a landmark order stopping the felling of trees in all forests. Not only that, the court redefined the meaning of forests and directed that the term forest land also includes forests as understood in the dictionary sense irrespective of ownership.

Every state government came under orders to identify such forests and sawmills operating near forests. Of even greater significance was the direction that the court's order would prevail notwithstanding any order at variance made or which may be made by any government, authority, tribunal or court including high courts.

The emergency brakes applied by the apex court sent the timber lobby into a major skid. Electric and chain saws fell silent and massive felling that was taking place across the country came to a stop. Tree felling in forests can now be carried out only on the basis of a working plan with prior approval of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).

The timber lobby, after realising that the apex court was in no mood to budge used other time-tested tricks to overcome the directives. In 1999 it got the Karnataka government to issue a circular permitting tree felling in evergreen and semi-evergreen areas. This order is completely at variance to the supreme court order and is thus ultra vires.

Senior forest officers - including two Principal Chief Conservators of Forests (PCCFs) - have issued memorandums pointing out how the SC order will prevail over all other orders. Reports have also been sent to the government with a strong advice to withdraw the offending order. Not surprisingly, they have been completely ignored and the reports are gathering dust.

In 2006 some timber merchants who had masterminded the 1993 scam swiftly moved in when a forest officer with a dubious record got posted to Kodagu. Using the 1999 circular, he permitted felling of over 3,500 trees under the Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act (KPTA) in blatant violation of SC orders.

When some senior officers intervened to stop the felling, they were transferred post haste. It was then that a local NGO petitioned the Karnataka high court, which not only stayed all felling permissions but also sought to know what action the government proposed to initiate against the forest officer. Finally, in February 2009 the officer was removed. But even after one year (in 2010), deterrent disciplinary action is yet to be initiated.

100 places identified to set up hotels on farm/agricultural lands - Special Correspondent, Bangalore, The Hindu, Friday, May 14, 2010 

For promoting tourism at historical, religious and popular tourist places, the Karnataka government has/had unfortunately decided to allow private parties to purchase five acres of agricultural lands in 100 selected places for construction of hotels.

The government has/had unfortunately decided to amend the Karnataka Land Revenue Act 1964 to enable entrepreneurs to purchase a maximum of five acres of land from farmers directly to set up hotels.

Revealing the arrangements made by the Tourism Department to attract private investments during the Global Investors' Meet on June 3 and 4, 2010, the Minister for Infrastructure and Tourism G. Janardhan Reddy had told presspersons on Thursday, May 13, 2010 that 100 tourist places had been identified for setting up of hotels in the private sector in the State. The government would not interfere in the land deals between farmers and buyers, Mr. Reddy had said.

Land bank created
The department had created a land bank and kept ready 3,258 acres of land for tourism projects (as on May 14, 2010).

Some of the places identified for setting up hotels unfortunately on five acres of farm lands in Kodagu (as on May 14, 2010) are/were: Nagarahole, Madikeri, Harangi Dam and Irpu Falls.

Mr. Reddy had unfortunately said concessional loans at interest rate of 10 per cent would be made available to private parties through Karnataka State Finance Corporation (KSFC). Such enterprises would also be unfortunately given Value Added Tax (VAT) exemption for a 3-year period.


This petiton's been addressed to: The Hon'ble Supreme Court (SC), Karnataka High Court (HC), President of India, Prime Minister (PM), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Chief Secretary (CS), Governor/Guv, Chief Minister (CM), Karnataka Forest Department (KFD), Secretary Urban Development Department/Authority (UDD/UDA), Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), Director Town and Country Planning, Secretary (Forest, Ecology and Environment/FEE) and Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), Madikeri Urban Development Authority (MUDA), Deputy Commissioner (Kodagu/Coorg) and CEO Zilla Parishath/ZP (Kodagu/Coorg).

Kindly note: This petition will/would not get/be automatically mailed to its/the addressees by default each and everytime someone signs it. This petition will/would be mailed manually in the PDF (Portable Document Format) to the addressees periodically (bi-monthly/quarterly/bi-annually/yearly) as per the discretion of its creator after updating this petition depending on/upon the urgency and the circumstances.

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