Mangaluru, May 10, 2015: Speaking at the western ghats awareness camp organised by Kumaradhara Parisara Samrakshana Samithi, Vrukshalaksha Andolana, IISc Energy Wetland Research Group and Netravathi Nadi Thiruvu Horata Samithi, at Urumbi, on May 9, Saturday, Karnataka Pollution Control Board Chairman Vaman Acharya said that proposed Yettinahole Project envisaged to meet drinking water needs of water starved districts is unscientific. The project by the government has several flaws that make it problematic to all.
He went on to say that in the name of Yettinahole Project to supply water to districts of Kolar and Chikkaballapura, government is planning to divert river Netravathi. If water bodies in the parched districts are rejuvenated, water woes can be solved. The water from river Cauvery which supplies water to Bengaluru is wasted in the form of leakage if this is curtailed a lot of problem can be met.
Western Ghats Task Force former President Anantha Hegde Ashisara said the Centre is planning to amend acts related to forest and environment.
This is just an attempt to dilute the already existing laws. The convention urged the Centre to hold a public discussion on the recommendations made by the Subramanian committee, on forest acts. The proposed mini hydel power project across Kumaradhara at Urumbi should be dropped. The government should review the proposal on Yettinahole project and initiate measures to check illegal sand mining. Seventy five per cent subsidy should be give to those who utilise solar energy for households.
The Yettinahole project will not be able to supply 24 TMC water as proposed by Karnataka Neeravari Nigama, to parched districts of Karnataka. The availability of water at Yettinahole area is 9.55 TMC.
As a result, Yettinahole Project will be a failure if implemented, said environmental flow assessment in Yettinahole study conducted by scientist Dr T V Ramachandra, Vinay S and Bharath Aithal, released at the convention. The study was carried out in April.
According to Kasturirangan report on conservation of western ghats, area surrounding Yettinahole is ecologically sensitive area. The tributaries of Gundya river namely Yettinahole, Kempuhole, Kadumane Hole, Hongada Halla are known for biodiversity. About 36 per cent of flora, 41 varieties of fishes, 14 fauna in western ghats are on verge of extinction, it said. The report said proposed Yettinahole Project is in violation of Forest Act, Environment Act, Biodiversity Act and National Water Policy 2012. The project will result in destruction of forest and waste a lot of money.
The expert team felt that instead of Yettinahole Project, authorities should give priority to rain water harvesting, rejuvenation of water bodies, recycling of water, rejuvenation of ground water, watershed programmes in plateau region to solve the problem of water crisis.
The report said Karnataka Neeravari Nigama has given false details on availability of 24.3 TMC water. Even annual rainfall estimate is incorrect. The Nigama plans to construct eight vented dams across eight minor streams joining Yettinahole. Surprisingly, Nigama has taken into account availability of 24 TMC water by details from rain guage at Bantwal.
The rain guage at Bantwal provides details on Netravathir river and not Yettinahole. The Nigama has estimated around 6,000 mm rainfall in Yettinahole catchment area. According to IISc report, estimated rainfall is between 3,500 and 4,700 mm. IISc Energy Wetland Research Group has said Yeetinahole is not feasible. It will aggravate water crisis in Dakshina Kannada. Much interest was visible among those present at the camp.