Greens in Malnad region recall Bahuguna’s visit
He had visited the positioning of Gundia hydel energy mission in solidarity with these opposing it
Environmentalist Sunderlal Bahuguna of ‘Chipko movement’ fame, who succumbed to COVID-19 on Friday, is fondly remembered by the folks of Maland region.
Mr. Bahuguna and his spouse, Vimala Bahuguna, had visited Hassan in 2009, extending help to environmentalists combating in opposition to the Gundia hydel energy mission in Sakleshpur taluk. Already in his 80s then, he had impressed children to proceed their battle in opposition to the mission.
He had additionally visited Ambuteertha, close to Thirthahalli, in January 2005 to inaugurate a march from Ambuteertha to Honnavar, organised by environmentalists to avoid wasting the Sharavati.
The State authorities, led by B.S. Yediyurappa, had introduced the Gundia mission regardless of protests by native folks and environmentalists who argued that it may hurt the Western Ghats, a biodiversity hotspot.
Leaders of Malnad Janapra Horata Vedike, who had been protesting in opposition to the mission, contacted Mr. Bahuguna and sought his help for his or her wrestle. “We contacted him through Panduranga Hegde, who had led the ‘Appiko’ movement in Karnataka. He visited Hassan and then the proposed project site,” recalled Kishor Kumar, president of the vedike. Mr. Bahuguna was in Hassan on December 21, 2009, and addressed a gathering at Ambedkar Bhavan and later visited Gundia.
“He had stressed the need for conserving nature and that man could never manufacture air, water, and soil. His words boosted our morale to continue our struggle against the project,” Mr. Kumar stated.
Mr. Bahuguna and his spouse stayed at Mr. Kumar’s home at Hongadahalla, an idyllic village in Malnad, that day. “He liked the place very much and we enjoyed his company. We often recall the day he spent with us. Today is a sad day for us,” he stated.