Monday, Feb 17, 2003
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He undertook a "padayatra" from river confluence with the sea at Karwar to its origin, Kushavali, near Dandeli alongside the river for 11 days.
He said the destruction of the forest in the river valley had continued unabatedly. Mining activity had further destroyed the forests. Construction of dams across the river for generation of power had prevented free flow of water.
Following this, there had been large-scale intrusion of brakish water downstream. People living on the riverbank had stopped cultivation, he said.
The release of toxic effluents had decreased the volume of oxygen in the river. This had affected inland fisheries.
Mr. Hegde said the river had to change its course often on account of dams built across it. This had affected the ecosystem at the river mouth.
People on the riverbank were leading a miserable life today.
The valley, which had more than 700 medicinal pants, had been degraded.
Mr. Hegde suggested that no more dams be built across the river.
He said mobile hospitals should be introduced to help people in remote villages.
Forest development should be taken up in the river valley, he added.
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