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Karnataka:Closing the Enforcement Gap: A community led groundtruthing of the expansion of a National Highway Project in Uttara Kannada February 12,2020   |  Source: CPR India

Linear projects like highways have the potential of changing existing land use across long distances. These changes are not limited only to the stretch, which allows transportation of vehicles. The effects of construction are also visible on both sides of the breadth of a highway. This study presents the findings of a two-year long groundtruthing exercise carried out between June 2016 and August 2018 across 187 kilometres of National Highway 66. A collaborative effort of members from towns and villages situated between Karwar and Kundapur, and people from 27 Panchayats, all from the district of Uttara Kannada in Karnataka, and the Centre for Policy Research-Namati Environmental Justice Programme, presents evidence of non-compliance of environmental safeguards resulting in social, economical and health impacts on people. It also highlights several instances that were not taken into account in the impact assessments. During the course of the study, the following impacts arising out of non-compliance were identified:

- Permissions for blasting, groundwater and river water withdrawal were not taken
- Flooding and salt water intrusion as a result of dumping soil on wetlands and creeks
- Soil erosion and landslides along embankments
- Non-submission of six-monthly

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