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Western Ghats Protection Council Takes Action to Oppose Proposed Tunnel Road

The Western Ghats Protection Council (WGPC), an environmental organization, is planning protests against the proposed Anakkampoyil-Meppadi tunnel road, an alternative to the Thamarassery Ghat Road that connects Kozhikode and Wayanad districts.

Shivam Dwivedi
Western Ghats Protection Council Takes Action to Oppose Proposed Tunnel Road
Western Ghats Protection Council Takes Action to Oppose Proposed Tunnel Road

The association will make a representation to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) by the end of April, requesting that all work linked to the proposed project be halted.

Varghese Vattekkattil, president of the organization, told the media that the State government had started preliminary work on the proposed 6.8-kilometer tunnel road connecting Swargamkunnu in Kozhikode district and Kallady in Wayanad without first conducting an environmental impact study and assessing the potential damage to biodiversity and loss of water sources.

Though the State government has granted the go-ahead for the 658-crore four-lane subterranean road project, environmental groups in the district have raised concerns. Swargamkunnu is 52 metres above sea level, and Kallady is 784 metres above sea level. However, there is no consensus on how to overcome such a steep gradient, he claims.

However, the Konkan railway authorities have been given a sum of 20 crore to perform a feasibility assessment and secure necessary permits from the Union government in order to carry out the project. The proposed underground road would pass through landslide-prone areas like Puthumala, Mudakkai, and Kavalappara.

The building is expected to have a negative impact on drinking water sources on hill slopes as well as the farming population in both areas.

The District Disaster Management Authority's 2015 restriction on mining and large structures applies to the project, according to Vattekkattil. On April 16, the association will hold a people's debate at MGT Auditorium in this city, and ideas will be submitted to the NDMA. Vattekattil stated that the meeting would also decide on future actions.

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