Chorus Grows For Chamundi Hill Development Authority
Chamundeshwari MLA G.T. Devegowda urges formation; Mayor, MP support; ball in Government’s court
Mysore/Mysuru: The proposal to constitute Chamundi Hill Development Authority on the lines of Male Mahadeshwara Hills Development Authority for every stakeholder to have a say in the overall development and conservation of eco-sensitive Hill will be tabled before the State Government and the issue will be preliminarily discussed in the next Cabinet meeting.
The proposal for such an Authority was raised by Chamundeshwari MLA G.T. Devegowda (GTD) yesterday at a meeting held to discuss preparations for this year’s Ashada atop Chamundi Hill. The meeting was chaired by Mysuru District Minister S.T. Somashekar.
GTD told the meeting that the elected representatives from Mysuru have been demanding Dasara Authority for many years but the Government has not taken any decision on that. Dasara Authority would streamline the way the festivities are conducted in coordination between several departments, agencies and the public. “Unfortunately, the Dasara Authority has not materialised yet. At least, the Chamundi Hill Development Authority can be constituted,” GTD told the meeting. The idea was welcomed by the Minister who said that he would bring the issue before the Cabinet so that a formal process can start.
Drastic steps needed
Speaking to Star of Mysore this morning, GTD said, “The aim is to enable all stakeholders to have a say in the Hill’s future instead of only a section of powerful people taking unilateral decisions to protect Chamundi Hill, its forest cover, ecology and surroundings. MM Hills Development Authority has resulted in preserving the fragile hill range in Chamarajanagar and the same must be done here too,” he said.
There is a desperate need to conserve Chamundi Hill in the interests of Mysuru as it is the only lung space and the unbridled construction must stop, he said. “We need some drastic steps such as superseding the authority of the local Gram Panchayat and giving full powers to the Chamundi Hill Development Authority considering the nature of the problem,” GTD said.
Chamundi Hill Development Authority will have all stakeholders like Gram Panchayat, Temple management, District Administration, Forest Department, PWD, Pollution Control Board and environment stakeholders. “Minister Somashekar has assured me that he will either bring the issue before the Cabinet or personally speak to the CM as the decision can be taken at a high-power meeting. The Government has to decide on it,” Devegowda said.
Mayor supports move
Mayor Sunanda Palanetra welcomed the move and said that constitution of Chamundi Hill Development Authority will protect the natural gift to Mysuru that is under various departments now. It will help the administration hear every stakeholder instead of the present system where only a few people have a say in the matters concerning the Hill, she added. “In fact, by now we should have had this on the ground to prevent large-scale destruction of the Hill. We also have been demanding a Dasara Authority which is not yet realised,” she said.
MP calls for coordination
Chamundi Hill Development Authority will enable better coordination and a focused development involving all stakeholders. “Also, I feel that the Dasara Authority must be formed immediately as we have observed that every officer has a ‘Dasara excuse’ in performing their daily routine activities and this goes on for three months where nothing moves in Government offices,” said MP Pratap Simha.
“I am in favour of Chamundi Hill Development Authority also as it will conserve the Hill in a planned manner,” MP Pratap Simha added.
Deputy Commissioner Dr. Bagadi Gautham and Mysuru City Corporation (MCC) Commissioner G. Lakshmikantha Reddy said that a formal proposal to constitute Chamundi Hill Development Authority has not yet been sent to the Government though discussions are on at the level of elected representatives in Mysuru.
“We will send a formal proposal if the Government asks for it and the decision has to be taken by the Government and we will implement the same accordingly,” they said.