By P.T. Bopanna
Is the zeal towards environmental issues reduced after Charulata Somal became the Kodagu (Coorg) DC?
After my recent report on how the authorities had bulldozed greenery at Raja Seat and put up huge concrete structures in the name of renovation of the tourist spot located at Madikeri, I received feedbacks to my report from the public.
A few of them noted that Somal did not have the same enthusiasm for environmental issues which she had while she was the CEO of Kodagu ZP a few years ago.
I feel this may not be the correct picture because on the ground there is no proof to say Somal has lost her interest in green matters.
A couple of months ago she heard the stakeholders at Hoskeri village where a World Environment School is coming up, amid protests from villagers who fear that the project would lead to an environment disaster. However, it is not known what stand she has taken in the establishment of the school in her report to the government.
After my report on how mindless excavation had occurred by deploying excavators in the fragile area in the Raja Seat, there has been a disquiet among the public on the situation at the tourist spot, triggered by the unilateral actions of the previous DC Annies Joy.
The DC should immediately visit the spot and order stoppage of work if there is further threat to the area from landslides.
Somal, a 2012-batch IAS officer from the Karnataka cadre, had served as CEO of Kodagu zilla panchayat way back in 2016.
She was part of the 2016 International Antarctic Expedition led by Robert Swan for ‘A Leadership on the Edge Program to the Last Wilderness on Earth’
A committed environmentalist, Somal, started E-base in Kodagu after her return from Antarctica to promote environmental education.