- Environmentalists worried about impact of Shradi Tunnel on Western Ghats
- Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Atal Tunnel at Rohtang, Himachal Pradesh, a debate on the need for the proposed tunnel through Shiradi Ghat road, connecting the state’s capital with the , has emerged. This even as green activists in Kerala are opposing the proposed tunnel along the Kozhikode-Wayanad road, stating that the project will have an adverse ecological impact in one of the most ecologically fragile areas of the Western Ghats, that is susceptible to landslides.
- “Do we need a 23.5 km-long-tunnel-cum-bridge via Sakleshpur to connect Bengaluru and Mangaluru?” questioned Dinesh Holla, convenor, Sahyadri Sanchaya, which is fighting for the preservation of the Western Ghats. During the last decade, governments have been destroying the Western Ghats in instalments, he said.
- Sandeep Anirudhan, founder, Aikyam Community for Sustainable Living, said the proposed tunnel needs to be looked at from a holistic perspective. It should be first subjected to an environmental impact assessment (EIA) and a social impact assessment. At a time when work from home is the new normal and technology has replaced travel among cities, we need to look at new models of development, and not follow the outdated models of blindly building infrastructure. The real need for the project must be assessed, rather than implementing the project only to cater to the demands of contractor lobbies. For example, the DPR for the Hubbali-Ankola railway line was based on the requirement of the mining industry, which does not exist any more, he added.
(Times of India, 12 October 2020) News Link