The river is the lifeline to some 40 M people in the district and supports livelihoods of tens of thousands of people including fishermen on the coast of Karwar. Among other fauna, the Kali offers a perfect natural corridor for wild elephants and black panthers.
Already, the six Hydro Electric Projects on the river have submerged over 12 800 Ha of forests in the region.In addition to this, the river is threatened by the continued discharge of untreated effluents from the West Coast Paper Mill at Dandeli. Since the flow in the river has been restrained on account of dams and diversions along its course, the farming and the fishing communities have felt the enhanced impact of accumulated pollutants in the river.
Kali might be a lesser-known river than the famous Cauvery and Krishna in Karnataka but is no less significant in terms of the contribution it makes to the livelihoods security of people and the ecosystems it sustains in the Western Ghats.
Researchers have confirmed that this short west flowing river, whose farthest point by crow flight along its course is just 32 km from the sea, cannot withstand any more interventions both to fulfill its ecological functions as also to ensure livelihoods security to people. However, current developments along the river may eventually choke and dry the annual flow of 9,000 MCM in the Kali. The river is home to six hydel projects and the Kaiga Nuclear Power Project. Thanks to the large obstructions along its course, the Kali flows uninterrupted for just about 18 km along its 184 km course in the Western Ghats.
After this 18 km, the Kali flows Quietly and almost Lifeless.....