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Saturday, December 04, 2021

‘Don’t concretise Mysuru hill’: Kannada novelist Bhyrappa writes to PM

SL Bhyrappa’s letter to PM Modi comes after Chamundi hills reported at least four landslides in less than a month.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: November 24, 2021 3:44:37 am
SL BhyrappaKannada novelist and Sahitya Akademi award winner SL Bhyrappa (file)

Kannada novelist S L Bhyrappa has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to save the Chamundi hill near Mysuru city from “environmentally unsustainable” concretisation.

Bhyrappa’s letter to the Prime Minister comes after the hill reported at least four landslides in less than a month.

Chamundi hill is proposed to be developed under the Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD) of the Union government under which grants worth Rs 100 crore would be sanctioned to transform it into a spiritual tourism hub.

Environmentalists have opposed the plan, stating it can pose a threat to the hill itself.

In the letter, Bhyrappa said, “What I have heard about the project proposal submitted by the Karnataka state government has pained me. It is concentrating more on the modern concept of architecture using concrete and environmentally unsustainable materials. What we need is to demolish the already existing concrete jungle and restore the natural beauty of the hill with minimum interference from contractors. The State Government’s proposal adds some more to the concrete jungle in the name of glamorizing it.”

Suggesting a ban on all private vehicles, including VIP ones, in the hills, he urged the government to operate only electric buses.

The Sahitya Akademi Fellow also stated: “Chamundi Hills have many granite rocks. Especially during summer months, they emit heat. We need to plant hill-friendly trees which will cover those rocks and stop being heated. This will result in some cooling for the city.           Around the temple, on the hill top, we should have massive planting of trees instead of the artificial roof constructed today. For most part today there are hardly any trees and the proposal also does not talk of any greening. With more than 4,000 residents on top of the hill which was hardly in the hundreds a few years back, it has reached an unsustainable limit. We should limit houses only to priests and working staff of the temple. All other houses should be relocated in the city and compensated as we have done with tribals in some reserve forests.”

Chamundi hills houses at least 4,000 hectares of reserve forests and is home to 442 species of flowering plants and 139 species of birds.

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