By P.T. Bopanna
In a move that will compromise the safety of Raja Seat, one of the most scenic spots in south India, the Kodagu deputy commissioner Annies K. Joy (in picture) has gone ahead with the construction of the ‘Coorg Village’ project, involving the putting up of a shopping complex in a hush-hush manner.
Sources said the whole project was kept under wraps till the public came to know about it last week when the foundation was being laid for the construction of the ‘Coorg Village’ (in picture) on a two-acre land near Raja Seat.
According to these sources, the deputy commissioner by-passed the local horticulture department which owns the land and got the sanction for the project directly from the state government.
What is worrying is the fact that less than 100 feet away from the location of the project, a major landslide had taken place in 2018.
It is disheartening to note that an IAS officer who heads the district administration and handled the calamities arising out the landslides which ripped through Kodagu in the last two years, should take up a project that could compromise the safety of Raja Seat.
The Raja Seat offers a breath-taking view of towering hills, green valleys, studded with paddy fields. It is fascinating to watch the road to Mangaluru like a curved ribbon lying in the valley.
Meanwhile, Kodagu Hasireekarana president K G Harish has criticised the unilateral decision to go ahead with the project, without gathering public opinion. He has called for immediately stopping further construction.
Reports said the project was taken up without floating tender. It is learnt that the project is being executed by Nirmithi Kendra which comes under the DC.
Harish was quoted as saying: “The construction of stalls near Raja Seat will increase traffic congestion and will also increase the garbage mess. There is a need to give priority to eco-friendly tourism. It is not right to spoil nature in the name of tourism promotion. The land owned by horticulture department should be earmarked for the park. The lake on the site should be rejuvenated.”