By P.T. Bopanna
Kodagu (Coorg), one of India’s top tourist destinations known for its greenery, has lost its charm because of the garbage menace. Most of the tourist spots are littered with garbage.
While the tourists themselves are responsible for the garbage mess, the civic authorities have compounded the problem by dumping the garbage on main roads, instead of disposing off in designated dump yards.
The volunteers of The Coorg Clean Initiative, who are spearheading a campaign to keep Kodagu litter-free, on Wednesday caught red-handed the staff belonging to Nellihudikeri panchayat who were dumping collected garbage from a vehicle on the main road.
The Kodagu DC, Charulata Somal, IAS (in picture), who is a dedicated environmentalist, should immediately take action against the Nellihudikeri panchayat which should serve as an exemplary punishment for other errant local bodies.
It is not uncommon for those running homestays in Kodagu to dump the garbage on roads.
Even the holy place of Talacauvery, the birthplace of sacred river Cauvery, has not been spared. Tourists dump the waste after cooking in open places.
Mounds of un-cleared garbage are seen in all the towns in Kodagu, especially Gonikoppal. Even villages have not been spared as tourists do not think twice before throwing waste from their vehicles.
A video had gone viral last year after an activist, Madettira Thimmaiah, a former secretary of the Kadagadalu gram panchayat in Kodagu decided to take action when he found a pizza box thrown on the roadside in his hometown.
After he obtained the phone number from the pizza box, he made the errant tourist to travel back 80 km and clear the trash.
A stage has reached when the residents of Kodagu have come to feel that tourists are not welcome in the district anymore.