Mangalore, Jan 16: The National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) has submitted a Detailed Project Report seeking diversion of 60.13 hectares of forest land spread across Dakshina Kannada, Chikkamagaluru and Hassan for a controversial road project from Shishila ( Dakshina Kannada) to Byrapura (Chikkamagaluru).
The details of the application revealed now show that DK will lose 44.83 hectares of forest land, while Chikkamagaluru and Hassan will lose 7.95 and 7.35 hectares of land respectively.
Spanning 278 km, the Shishila-Byrapura Road is part of the ambitious NH-173 road project from Chitradurga to Mangalore, linking the port with the golden quadrilateral to improve the efficiency of freight movement in the country.
Conservationists from three districts namely Dakshina Kannada, Chikkamagaluru and Hassan have been protesting against the project as it will damage the Western Ghats’ forests besides that several hectares of agricultural land will be acquired in all three districts.
Evidently, the three state forest patches – Balur, Meeyar and Kabbinale – are source points of several rivulets that eventually drain into major rivers including Nethravathi and Yettinahole.