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Will Green Bonus save the forests around Gundia?

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The environment ministry has declared a reward system called "Green Bonus" as an incentive for states to protect and increase their green cover. The details of this scheme are not out yet but it sure sounds interesting. I do hope that this comes out as early as possible.

The Green Bonus might tilt the balance in a tug-of-war happening between the center and the state regarding the Gundia power project. This project located near Sakleshpur, spread between units, will add 400MW capacity. At nearly 7% of the state's total capacity this is not trivial at all. However, this will come at the cost of 24,000 acres of land, of which at least 7.5 sq km are said to contain a biodiversity hotspot. Not only will prime forests be submerged, the backwaters usually end up fragmenting habitats making the resulting smaller pieces unsuitable for several species.

While the government seems to be in a hurry to get this project going, State Planning Board Deputy Chairperson D. H. Shankaramurthy and MP D. B. Chandre Gowda (both from the ruling party) have called for a debate. I hope long-term interests trump quickfixing!

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