People Biodiversity Register (PBR) of Hongadahalla Grama Panchayat


    As part of National Biodiversity Act (www.bcrt.org/News-1.htm), BCRT has prepared “PBR of Hongadahalla Grama Panchayat” .Hongadahalla Grama Panchayat consists of 26 villages, Honadahalla, Balehalla, Konthanamane, Duddavalli, Yerehalli, Yedakumari, Athihalli, Yethalli, Kaginahare, Hallekere, Voddalli, Madalamekki, Jagati, Moganahalli, Bhathihettlu, Sinkere, Mavinuru, Jedigadde, Mukkanamanne, Kanjigere Horatti, Shettihalli, Holumane, Doddgaddehoratti, and Kattemane. Hongadahalla Grama Panchayat is located in Sakleshpur taluk of Hassan District, 40 KM away from BCRT campus. PBR report of Hongadahalla Grama Panchayat has been submitted to Karnataka Biodiversity Board (http://www.kbbindia.org/ngo.html). This regions is belong to Western Ghats, consists of evergreen rainforests, hills, rivers, streams and lakes. This area is the major habitat for elephant, tiger, bear, cheetah, leopard, king cobra, python, and other wildlife. This region is also a hotspot for medicinal plants and home to several traditional healers.

Figure 1: Documentation of traditional knowledge associated with local people


    Unfortunately, Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd is proposing to deforest Hongadahalla surrounding forest area to construct Gundia Hydro Electric Project. We all understand the electricity problem in Karnataka and other states of India, but this problem can be achieved through other technological means. Gundia Hydro Electric Project is a major concern and threat to rainforest and elephant habitat. If this project is set up in this area, the entire ecosystem will be disturbed and add to climate change. These forests are important to assist in cloud creation and rain distribution across India. That is the reason these forests have been named as “rainforests”. Water is more precious and highly essential for human survival and life existence. Due to severe deforestation in this region, elephants are barging into villages and affecting lives of farmers. Highest “human-elephant” conflicts have been reported in Hassan District as compared to other regions of Western Ghats (http://www.hinduonnet.com/2009/10/23/stories/2009102353410300.htm).


    We have submitted a copy of PBR-Hongadahalla Grama Panchayat report to Environmental Expert Appraisal Committee, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, who inspected Shiradi Ghats on December 6, 2009. If this project is implemented, it would further lead to aggravation of elephant menace and it would never be solved. This project will also submerge large track of farmland, forest and fresh water bodies. This project has continuously been opposed by Malnad Janapara Horata Samithi and local people led by H.A. Kishore Kumar; http://www.hindu.com/2009/12/06/stories/2009120652840300.htm; & http://www.hindu.com/2009/12/22/stories/2009122259890300.htm,
In the name of development, if allowed to clear such a rainforest, this area will be barren soon and leads to decreased rainfall across India and this paves path towards desertification. BCRT do not support any hydroelectric or deforestation projects in the heart of rainforests. If any questions or clarifications, you can contact us via email: mg@bcrt.org.



Figure 2: Forest and hill near Hongdahalla create clouds, rain, streams and rivers.


Figure 3: Hongadahalla area receives over 2000 mm of rainfall /year. The thickness of rain shield indicates the high rainfall in this region.


Picture 4: Tusker sighted in Shiradi Ghat-NH-48 at Kempholey Mini Hydel Project site, 05-12-2009, 5-48PM (courtesy, Niren Jain, Kudremukh Wildlife Foundation).


Figure 5: Deforestation continues near Hongdahalla.


Figure 6: Mr. Kishore Kumar submitting PBR-Hongadahalla to Central Expert Appraisal Committee, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, who inspected Shiradi Ghats on Dec 5, 2009.



Note: Traditional knowledge, natural resources or any information in the PBR document, are protected by Gram Panchayat Community Rights under Biodiversity Act of India.