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Jog Falls project suffers setback as Centre asks Karnataka about impact assessment

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    17th May, 2022

Context

Karnataka’s Forest Department, which was supportive of the Jog Development Projects and had recommended ‘in principal approval’ of environmental clearance for a five-star hotel, suffered a setback with the Centre questioning whether any environmental impact study has been carried out.

About

About the project:

  • A proposal was submitted by Karnataka to seek diversions of 0.8536 hectares of forest land in the Nadavada Talakalale village, Sagar Taluk. The proposal was submitted to build a five-star hotel.
  • The Living Earth Foundation (LEAF), an environmental research and advocacy organisation that is based in Bengal uru had filed objections regarding the developmental projects and the MoEF&CC also enquired about whether the objections have been clarified or not.

What would be the environmental impacts?

  • To develop this area into a tourist attraction significant amount of construction would need to be done on the forest land within the Sharavati Valley Lion Tailed Macaque Sanctuary’s Eco-Sensitive Zone.
  • The LEAF has stated that the constructions in this zone will cause major environmental impacts which will affect the flora and fauna of this area.
  • Also, after construction, the increase in footfalls in this area will bring rise to additional challenges such:
  • increase in dry and wet waste
  • water consumption
  • additional vehicular traffic and this will cause emission
  • The area will be receiving artificial light due to the vehicles which will be harmful to the flora and fauna of the area
  • LEAF also argues that no study has been conducted to gauge the environmental impacts of the developmental project and no plans have been developed to lessen the impacts.

About Jog Falls

  • It is created by the Sharavathi Riverfalling from a height of 253 m (830 ft), making it the second-highest plunge waterfall in India. 
  • Located near Sagara, Shimoga District of Karnataka state.
  • It is also called by alternative names of Gerusoppa falls, Gersoppa Falls and Jogada Gundi.

Sharavathi River

  • The Sharavathi River basin is situated in the central part of the Western Ghats.
  • It originates at Ambuthirtha and flows towards west for about 132 km before joining the Arabian Sea at Honnavar.  
  • It is one of the west flowing rivers of Karnataka.
  • It is recognized as a hot speck in the biodiversity hotspot. 
  • It is the dwelling place for a rare freshwater fish, Batasio sharavatiensis. 
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