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Karnataka: Sharavathi project could sink Deccan Mahseer October 09,2019   |  Source: Deccan Herald

The near-endangered Deccan Mahseer, recently declared state fish, may have a new threat: the Sharavathi pumped storage project. The project, which has run into controversy over the proposal to set up power generators in the fragile Western Ghats, could also threaten the fish.

The Rs 5000-crore project seeks to generate electricity by pumping water from Talakalale reservoir to Gerusoppa reservoirs, situated downstream of Linganamakki reservoir and about 3.5 km from the Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. The Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL) proposed the project to bridge the gap in power supply.

While activists have already raised concerns about the dangers posed by the underground power generators, the expert appraisal committee of the Ministry of Environment and Forests has cautioned that the pumping of water may affect the fish. “As the reservoir acts as a balancing reservoir, there would be fluctuation of water level of 1-2 metres during peaking period. A study on the impact on Deccan Mahseer be carried out, including the impact during the spawning period,” the committee has said.

Deccan Mahseer entered the red list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature in March 2011 following a large-scale decline in its population due to

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