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Govt urged not to clear dam
DH News Service
BANGALORE, June 6
Members of the Kali Bachao Andolan staged a demonstration in the City yesterday urging the State government not to give clearance to the construction of a dam by Murudeshwar Power Corporation Limited (MPCL) across river Kali in Uttara Kannada district.
Later, addressing a press conference, Mr Pandurang Hegde of the Sirsi-based Parisara Samrakshana Kendra appealed to Chief Minister S M Krishna to spike the Rs 200-crore dam proposal and instead focus on protecting the river.
Kali is a 184-km-long river that emerges in the high mountain ranges of the Western Ghats in Uttara Kannada district and flows through dense forests.
According to Mr Hedge, the proposed dam would result in the submergence of thousands of acres of forest lands and eviction of families residing alongside the banks. “Already there are six major dams, a nuclear power plant and a paper mill along the course of the river and these have ensured that its glorious flow down the mountains into the Arabian Sea is frequently stopped.
“While little is known about the Kaiga nuclear plant’s polluting impact on the river and forests, pollution from the West Coast Paper Mills at Dandeli is another problem,” he alleged. And with the government now trying to pursue the MPCL dam, which will be the seventh one, a total of eight km of the river will be lost forever, he said.
Mr Leo F Saldanha of Environment Support Group, who was present on the occasion, urged the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to ensure that Kali river is not polluted by the West Coast Paper Mills at Dandeli.