The CJ Dinesh Maheshwari was hearing a PIL on polluted water due to quarry mining in Karkala taluk, Udupi.

Kodagu floods We have to be careful about man-made disasters says Ktaka CJ
news Enviornment Monday, August 20, 2018 - 19:15

As Karnataka’s hilly central district of Kodagu recovers from the most devastating floods in recent times with rains subsiding since Sunday, the Karnataka High Court has referred to the present disaster as man-made.

Since June, Kodagu in central Karnataka has been battered by rains. The situation took a turn for the worse from August 12 onwards, with multiple instances of flooding and landslides reported from the district. So far, eight people have died as a result and 50 others are reported missing.

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on polluted water due to quarry mining in Karkala taluk, Udupi, Chief Justice of Karnataka, Dinesh Maheshwari, commented, “These are not done overnight, but degradation has been happening over the years. In case of an earthquake, we could have assumed it as sudden, but floods, landslides among others, are nothing but man-made. We have to be more careful in future on man-made disasters.”

Prior to Monday, even CM HD Kumaraswamy had announced that no more land conversion will be allowed in the coastal and Malnad region. He further directed officials to study the man-made reasons for the disaster.

Environmental activists for some time now, have been opposing successive state governments which have allowed rampant commercialization of the ecologically sensitive region of the state.

Read: Kodagu in distress: How rampant deforestation and tourism led to landslides and floods

Activists in Bengaluru have been vocal about restricting infrastructural activity in the name of “development”, arguing that the region should be protected in order to maintain the course of the Cauvery. The river which is the city’s lifeline originates from this very region.

Even rescue personnel who were coordinating rescue efforts and were on the field reaching out to people in distress, said that illegal sand mining was taking place in the buffer zone of Cauvery river with impunity.

Colonel Cheppudira Muthanna, President of the Coorg Wildlife Society says that both sides of the Harangi River have been encroached upon by people, either for farming purposes or for sand mining.

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