Development projects spell doom for Western Ghats

The central government is planning to develop Asia’s biggest naval base in Karwar-Ankola region along the Western Ghats | Image - Eunice Dhivya

Septuagenarian Leelavathi Bommayya Naik cannot imagine living a life outside her village Manjuguni in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka along the Western Ghats.

She has been living in a small patch of land with three of her brothers and their families for over seven decades. The area is home to around 1,500 people who harvest paddy, groundnuts and salt, and is situated a kilometre from the origin of Gangavali river amid lush green forests.

Now, all that is under threat. The central government, they were told amid the pandemic and monsoon, is planning to develop Asia’s biggest naval base in their area.

Titled Project Seabird, a part of INS Kadamba naval base in Karwar-Ankola region, the ‘development project’ will consume Manjuguni and five other villages including Honnebail and Shinganamakki in their panchayat.

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