The decision was taken during a meeting on the projects of the department of tourism chaired by the minister in charge of the district ST Somashekar.
Activists have opposed it since the mid-1990s after the Forest Department approved the proposal. The Forest Department revoked the permit in 2013.
CM Prime Minister Basavaraj Bommai in its first budget, it announced that a proposal would be sent under the central government’s Parvatamala scheme to promote tourism. It sparked massive protests and online petitions and a memorandum was sent to the Prime Minister’s office. Wednesday’s meeting began with local MP GT Devegowda expressing concern over the project which is part of his constituency.
GT Devegowda called on the government to abandon the project citing ecological concerns and said the government should retain the hill as a spiritual center instead of promoting it as a tourist center.
deputy Pratap Simha said the project would serve no purpose and that all commercial activities at the top of the hill should be stopped.
Police Commissioner Chandra Gupta and DCF K Kamala Karikalan said that the hill shrine also has good transport facilities and steps and the cable car will not help.
However, stakeholders in the tourism sector led by BS Prashanth, Honorary Chairman of Mysuru Travels Association, said the district administration should form a committee of experts and make a decision based on their report. Somashekar said this hill is a sacred place for devotees and not a tourist spot. “The majority of visitors are devotees and the temple is well connected,” he said.
At the meeting, it was also decided not to allow the construction of new houses at the top of the hill, in addition to placing particular emphasis on the protection of greenery. It was decided to ask the CM to form a temple development authority on the model of the MM Hills temple authority.
Earlier, Somashekar and officials had visited the hills and reviewed the situation. “Road repair works in landslide areas have been resumed and the highest quality will be maintained,” he said.
Greens and civic activists hailed the decision. Bhamy V Shenoy, one of the main opponents, said: “We are happy that the idea has finally been abandoned and that most of our suggestions to promote spiritual tourism have been accepted”.