Development vs Environment

12 September 2009

It could be potential situation for Mangalore- the city that has promised to the state that it will graduate into the next growth centre next to Bangalore is now struggling to strike a
balance between development and environment. If it is any indication, the Mayor of the city Mr. Shankar Bhat showed strains of disgust in his voice when he told that the city is now in the grip of people who pose as environmentalists but are holding the city to ransom. He quickly added that the true environmentalists do not scuttle development of the city but do not compromise on degeneration of environment either, they try to strike a balance between the two. But in the recent times groups of people "posing" as environmentalist have been scuttling the developmental projects in the city particularly the road widening and concretizing projects.
Mr. Shankar Bhat taking the case of the Karavali circle to Marnamikatta road was at pain to analyse that some groups had started sabotaging project by dismantling the project plan and also throwing un wanted restrictions and objections. In this stretch the Mangalore City Corporation wanted to have a four lane concretised road but yet there was no plans to cut trees as alleged by the groups.

In several other cases also the groups calling themselves as environmentalists have started heckling the officials and putting hurdles in the developmental work. He said there is money available for taking up any developmental projects in the city but everywhere we are finding the threat of pseudo environmental group.

"We also want Mangalore to be green and clean always. We have plans to plant five trees for every tree lost, our environmental engineering section has been carrying out periodical surveys about the loss of greenery and identifying the areas for tree planting, the MCC has given Rs. 8 lakhs to the forest department to plant trees wherever possible in the city. It is unfortunate that the forest department has also given tacit support to the pseudo environmentalists by objecting to tree cutting. Our own tree officers have been taking up planting of trees wherever the Corporation had to cut trees for some reason. We are planting 5 trees per each tree cut" says Mr. Manjunath the tree officer.

Mangalore city had only narrow roads in the past, but due in the recent years roads are getting better in quality and breadth. About 120 square kilometer of roads were being concretised in the city. The people always had a complaint about the narrow and pot hole ridden roads in Mangalore but when it is time for having good roads there is lot of trouble, If we do not do it now Mangalore might not get another chance says Mr. Ivan D'Souza a conscentitious citizen of Valencia.



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