Mangaluru, May 16, 2016: Stressing on it’s demand for declaring the area in the Western Ghats between Bangra Balike, near Elneer in Kudremukh, and Pushpagiri near Kukke Subrahmanya as "Netravati Nadi Samrakshana Aranya Valaya" (Netravati river conservation forest zone) to save the river for the future, Netravati Nadi Samrakshana Ookkuta said on May 14, Saturday that it would support the “voluntary Dakshina Kannada bandh” called on May 19, Thursday.
The ookkuta is a group of environmental activists. Netravati Rakshana Samyukta Samiti has called for a “voluntary bandh” to urge the government to drop the Yettinahole river water diversion project.
In a release on may 14, Saturday, Ookkuta president Dr. Niranjan Rai, a medical doctor by profession, and its convener Dinesh Holla, who is an artist, said that by taking up the project, the State government has behaved in an “autocratic way”. It did not have the courtesy to consult the people of Dakshina Kannada on the pros and cons of the project, he alleged.
Though several agitations have been staged against the project, the government has not responded to the issues raised by the people and activists, they said.
They said that the source of the Netravati and its tributaries have gone dry this summer. Water scarcity was increasing in the district even before work on the Yettinahole project has been completed, they added.
“One could imagine the severity of the crisis after the completion of the project. No elected representative of the district was speaking on behalf of the Netravati. Instead, they have been supporting the project. They have been cheating the people of Dakshina Kannada,” the activists alleged.