People came out to protest in Bengaluru to save the Western Ghats ecosystem and demanded the scrapping of three projects. Activists say expansion of Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant, power transmission line from Goa to Chhattisgarh and Shravathy Valley Pump Storage Power Plant will lead to the culling of 3.7 lakh trees and divert 376 hectares of forests.
Ullash Kumar, a naturalist, told TNM,
“They are pushing all this in the name of development but as a result of the nuclear plant, people as early as in their teens are getting cancer. But the government is not acknowledging studies done by NGOs neither are they conducting any study themselves. While there might be power for some, the people there will suffer indefinitely.”
The Western Ghats stretch in Karnataka lost 20,000 hectares over the last 17 years due to increasing urbanisation and development of tourist resorts. Listed as ‘hottest hotspot’ of biological diversity, it’s home to 325 endangered flora and fauna species and is the place of origin of the Cauvery river.