|Kali Bachao Andolan|
Take Action! Write to the Chief Minister of Karnataka
A sample letter to the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Mr.S.M.Krishna, is present later on this page. We encourage you to endorse this letter by mailing/emailing the Chief Minister and marking a copy to the Union Minister for Environment and Forests, Mr. T. R. Baalu. Please include your full name, affiliation (if any) and address (required), before sending this letter, and remember to mark a copy to ESG (address as below). Your voice in support of the Kali Bachao Andolan could go a long way in supporting the cause of this river.
Sample Letter to the Chief Minister
I/We appeal to you to address the concerns raised by the Kali Bachao Andolan (KBA) formed by several local community organizations and tribal villages to highlight severe threats to the Kali River and protect it for posterity.
There are already 6 major hydel plants on the river and there are serious attempts to build another dam near Dandeli, which will submerge over 210 hectares of forests that abuts the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary consisting of rare flora and fauna. The existing 6 dams have already submerged over 32,000 acres of forests in Uttara Kannada. The river is also being polluted by the Dandeli Paper Mill which discharges its untreated liquid effluents directly into the river. In addition, there is also illegal sand mining on the banks of the Kali River that has been reported widely in the regional newspapers.
Murdeshwar Power Corporation Limited (MPCL) proposed the 7th dam to generate an additional power of 18 MW, but the dam will significantly add to the burden on the river, which has been dammed repeatedly to generate an excess of 1000 MW of electricity. In fact, the total power requirement of the Uttara Kannada district is only 17 MW. Yet, there are villages in Uttara Kannada that languish in darkness. Clearly, Uttara Kannada has already been producing a lot of power for the rest of the state at high costs to the rich forests of the district and the people who depend on the river and the forests for their livelihood. Besides, this power from MPCL will cost over 15 times the cost of hydel power produced by the state-run KPCL according to some estimates. The forest and ecological wealth of this area is invaluable for the people of Karnataka and needs to be protected from further destruction by adopting sound developmental and ecologically appropriate development policies. The increased power requirements of the state could be alleviated by vigorously exploring other alternatives, like mproving the efficiency of the existing hydel plants on the Kali River and by constructing several micro-hydel and pico-hydel schemes that generate power at minimal costs with no submergence.
Construction of this new dam is also a significant violation of the 19th May 1987 Government of Karnataka order (No. FFD 242 FGL 83) that no further projects involving diversion of forest land for other uses will be undertaken on Kali River or its tributaries. Several directions of the Hon'ble Supreme Court endorse the spirit of this decision. Particular note has to be taken of the fact that MPCL, along with its consultants Ernst and Young and Tata Energy Research Institute, have twice attempted to get environmental clearance for this dam on the basis of fraudulent EIAs. On exposure, and on the basis of Statutory Environmental Public Hearings conducted, the Deputy Commissioner of Uttara Kannada has recommended that the dam should not be allowed. This view is echoed by the District Forest Officer in his recent survey on the submergence caused by the dam.
Apart from being dammed, the Kali River is also being polluted by the Dandeli Paper Mills that discharges large volumes of its untreated effluents into the Kali River. The once beautiful and clear river has been turned into an obnoxiously smelly gutter of pulp waste and sewage at Dandeli. Repeated appeals by local communities and environmental groups to get this plant to clean up its act have had little support from the regulatory agencies. The Kali Bachao Andolan is not demanding a closure of the Dandeli Paper Mills - which will affect the employees of the mill. Rather, the emphasis is on getting the mill to clean up its operations which will be of benefit to all, including the employees of the mill.
On the occasion of the World Environment Day, we appeal that you should
take the initiative in ensuring Kali is saved for posterity. Please ensure
We support the aspirations of the people of Uttara Kannada who want the Kali flowing and alive with life. Not dammed, polluted and dead.