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Friday, 19 May 2017 12:18

Karnataka govt seeks MoEF nod for B R Shetty’s Jog Falls project

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Bengaluru, May 19: In what appears to be an effort for easing the bureaucratic rigmarole for Dubai-based NRI B R Shetty, who's investing to make Jog Falls a perennial waterfall, the state government has sought clearance from the ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) for the project.shetty

However, the MoEF has deferred clearance and sought for a spot-inspection. On March 24, the deputy commissioner and the chief executive officer for the Jog Management Authority, M Lokesh had submitted an application to MoEF. The DC has sought permission for storing and using 400 cusecs of water from a barrage near Sithakatti bridge to be pumped to the top of Jog Falls with controlled release.

In his application for the project, which ideally should have been pursued by Shetty and his company, B R Ventures, the DC has said the project will not only help in attracting tourists but also ensure there's sufficient water for wild animals in the abutting forest range.

"There will be no water for 6-8 months in Sharavathi river. The re-circulation of water will have a positive effect in 4km of the river for eco-system services. The project acts as a source of drinking water for wild animals located in the region during summer," he has reasoned.

This apart, the government has made a case that construction of a storage weir at the upstream of Jog Falls will help in riparian vegetation and water dependent fauna (especially fish) to flourish and increase the flow of water (about 30%) in the river which is normally dry during summer. The government has claimed that the project to pump the water upstream will require 47.80 million units of power during non-monsoon months for re-circulation, but the same amount of electricity will be generated during monsoon and connected to the grid.

Lokesh said that the government had only initiated the first step towards making Jog Falls a perennial waterfall and the rest of the clearances will be taken forward by B R Ventures. "As of now, the MoEF has deferred the matter and is seeking for a spot inspection of the waterfalls, considering it is within the Kargal reserved forest. Once the inspection is completed and if given clearance, the private firm will take up the project," said the DC.

According to Lokesh, the Jog Management Authority and B R Ventures have had a preliminary round of talks and that the company will be present when MoEF officials visit the spot.

Differing voices

Earlier, writer and environmentalist Na D'Souza had opined that the project will spoil the natural beauty of the waterfalls and spell doom for the environment. The chairperson of the public committee, which has opposed the move of the government, had commented that the "unscientific" project had been forced on the government by some wealthy businessmen without giving a thought to the pros and cons. Akhilesh Chiple, a member of the committee, had urged district minister Kagodu Thimmappa to consider the appeal of the committee seriously and drop the project.

NUMBER MATTERS

Total cost of the project: Rs 40 crore

Forest land required : 2.91 acres

Land required : 89.40 acres

Employment to be generated : 5,000

Amount of water to be used for re-circulation: 400 cusecs

 

Comments  

 
Like [1]Dislike [0] #6 Sangeeth, Mangalore2017-05-19
I dont think, it can be practical like he promised. Artificial things will remain always artificial and it wont give much benefit compared to natural
 
 
Like [0]Dislike [2] #5 Mohan, Mangalore2017-05-19
Hope BR Shetty can finish it successfully
 
 
Like [0]Dislike [2] #4 Hari, Udupi2017-05-19
It will be a great project for environment and people
 
 
Like [0]Dislike [2] #3 Danish, Udupi2017-05-19
Waiting for successful completion of the project
 
 
Like [0]Dislike [2] #2 Kumar, Mangalore2017-05-19
If it becomes practical, one more feather in BR Shetty's hat
 
 
Like [2]Dislike [0] #1 Mohammed, KSA2017-05-19
Artificial water fall.. how is it possible
 

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