Mangaluru, Sep 30, 2015 : With concern writ large for the future of the coastal region, the leaders of the Catholic diocese of Mangalore held a brain storming session at the Bishop’s house , Kodialbail on Sept 29.
The Bishop Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, was present and the call was to rise to save the area from destruction of natural resources and specially water. This is also in keeping with the recent call of Pope Francis who is concerned about world ecology and nature. The interaction was mainly for the leaders of the community and clergy. The minority group is poised, through it’s churches spread in the region to join the mainstream in corrective action in the serious and unfair Yettinahole’ issue that is steaming now.
After a welcome address by M P Noronha, a brief reflection on the value of nature by Rev Victor J Lobo- Director of Sandesha Prathistana-Bajjodi, who compered the program. Rev J B Crasta-Moderated the discussion briefed about the Yettinahole Project and its harmful effect on the people of DK. Bishop of Mangaluru, Dr Aloysius Paul D’Souza, and Rev Denis Moras-Vicar General were present. The keynote speaker of the day, Prof. Dr. S.G. Mayya, Professor of water Resources Engineering (Retd), National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal, said that diverting Yettinahole was as good as diverting Netravati, as Yettinahole and Kumaradhara are Netravati’s major tributaries. Already, many parts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi face severe water shortage for months due to erratic rainfall which is becoming more acute by the year.
This dark and defective project, estimated to cost crores of rupees and which may never see expected results is impractical. If completed after decades, the project would divert water from Netravati. Netravathi river the “lifeline of the coastal district” will pose negative impact for the coastal region.
Experts have been crying, the project, would be environmentally disastrous. The catchment area of Netravati, which is a part of the Western Ghats, is recognised as one of the 25 hot spots for biodiversity conservation in the world. Apart from being the lifeline of the district, the Netravati has several tributaries that keep alive the hydro-system of the Western Ghats by feeding water into the streams, small rivers and rivulets. Dr. Mayya said that basic water rights are blatantly ignored like the riparian rights; prior appropriation rights; important to establish right on the river water for the future generation. A need to ensure water rights is paramount for society. There are hidden agenda in this project-all future requirement of Bengaluru City water will be taken from Netravathi; Huge infrastructure allocated justifies the doubt; Water will be lifted from 8 dams to be built. Do allow this project to go forward Prof Mayya said. it’s surreptitious implementation speaks volumes. It’s time now to fight and stop this project from going forward. It’s a tough job, but with support and determination we can win . Let’s all save the Western Ghats and our Netravathi River. Dr. Mayya was faced with loud applause from the audience for his clear power-point presentation on this serious issue. Dr. Mayya also answered some of the queries posed at him by participants.
To get all relevant information and awareness on the Yettinahole issue that has presently seized the region, please get a copy of the latest issue (Sept 2015) of ’Mangalore Today’ monthly and be fully informed.