HD Kumaraswamy: My govt is keen on protecting Western Ghats

Mangaluru/Udupi: The state government intended to do everything possible to protect the Western Ghats based on advice from experts in Hyderabad following the devastation caused by the heavy monsoon in the coffee land of Kodagu and other districts of the region, Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, assured here on Friday.

“The recent rain and landslides in the districts of the Western Ghats are a cause for concern. We have the scientific suggestions of Dr Kasturirangan and have sought expert advice from engineers in Hyderabad. We will take action to protect the ghats based on their suggestions,” he told reporters here.  

The Chief Minister also revealed that a Detailed Project Report (DPR) on providing drinking water to all villages in the state from their nearby rivers would be ready shortly.

"Our aim is to supply river water for drinking to every village in the state. The proposal was approved at the last cabinet meeting and a preliminary Detailed Project Report is being prepared for the entire state, which is expected to be ready in a month," he added. 

Asked about the plight of the Endosulfan victims in the district, the Chief Minister said he had asked the Deputy Commissioner to submit a comprehensive report on the issue. "We want to help the families affected by Endosulfan under a permanent programme. I have asked asked the DC to submit a report immediately," he said.

As for illegal sand mining in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi, he said he planned to hold a meeting with the elected representatives of the region and senior officials of the mining department in a week to discuss ways to curb it. “We will take necessary steps to control both mechanised and illegal sand mining," he promised. 

Earlier in the day Mr Kumaraswamy held a review meeting in Udupi district and assured it financial help to deal with the damage it had suffered in the recent heavy spell of rain. 

He said the government was considering giving more compensation than officially recommended to the flood victims. 

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