Kalasa project work continues despite court directives


Though Karnataka high court disposed of a petition on February 28 challenging work on the ongoing KalasaBhandura project at Kankumbi after Karnataka government submitted that no work would be taken up in the forest areas till clearances are obtained from the Union ministry of environment and forests, work was on till Sunday evening.
The court had directed that no work be carried out on the channel to divert water from the Haltar nullah and also banned work affecting forests.
Belgaum's Shiv Pratisthan president Kiran Gaude said, "Karnataka has continued work in Kankumbi, thereby causing inconvenience to villagers. The noise and dust pollution is affecting us badly. The ground water table of the area is also badly affected."
Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Ltd (KNNL) workers involved in excavation work of the canal and construction work of the open cut channel and underground tunnel said, on conditions of anonymity, that they have not received directives to stop ongoing work in Kankumbi.
Kalasa is one of the feeders of the Mhadei river and its water is the main source for the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary which is about 3.71km from where the ongoing work of the Kalasa canal. The proposed dam site is at the distance of 231.27m.
Keri-Sattari's Vivekanand environment awareness brigade volunteer Chandrakant Shinde said, "Karnataka has continued work of the Kalasa project. On Sunday bulldozers, JCB machines, trucks were operating at Ambyacho Vhal in Kankumbi. Diverting natural flow of the Kalasa nullah into the Malprabha river would certainly affect the wildlife, forest, and ecology of Mhadei sanctuary."
Ravendra Saini, who had filed the petition in the high court said, "As the ongoing canal work is affecting forests and ecology, KNNL has to stop it in Kankumbi as per the directives given by the court." [TOI]