Mangaluru, Sep 24, 2015: Speaking to media District in-charge and Forest Minister B Ramanath Rai said that Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will convene a meeting on Yettinahole project in Bengaluru, within this week, to discuss about the public opinion on the project. He also said that the Yettinahole project was passed by the previous BJP government and the present government was only implementing it. The project was recommended by the then ministers late V S Acharya and D V Sadananda Gowda and there was no opposition then, he said. He ruled out any kind of misappropriation in the project.
Asked about the affidavit of the State government submitted before the National Green Tribunal, he said it was beyond his jurisdiction to comment on the same. Replying to a question, Rai said that 13.92 hectares of land would be cleared by the government for the project, out of which only one hectare of land comprised reserve forest and the rest was deemed forest land. He told media persons to ask questions regarding the Yettinahole project to the irrigation minister.
Minister for Youth Empowerment, Sports and Fisheries K Abhayachandra Jain and MUDA president Ibrahim Kodijal were present among others.
File FIR: An FIR should be filed against those who prepared the DPR -detailed project report of the Yettinahole project as they very well knew that 24 TMC water was not available in the Yettinahole basin, said former union minister Janardhan Poojary.
Briefing media, he said that it was during the tenure of former chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda that the DPR was prepared. The BJP leaders have been pressurising the chief minister not to drop the project. The project is an attempt to loot people’s money. As only 0.85 TMC feet water can be supplied to the parched and arid districts of Tumkur, Chikkaballapur and Kolar. Is Rs 13,000 crore required to supply water? he asked.
Health and Family Welfare Minister U T Khader should stop misleading the people of Kolar. There is no need for the ministers from coastal districts to tender resignation. Instead by being part of the Cabinet they can oppose Yettinahole project and stop the project from being implemented. The project will destroy the environment and ecology of the Western Ghats and will also increase salinity in water.
Social assessment survey : The Sahyadri Sanchaya has criticised the State government’s move to conduct a social assessment survey of the Yettinahole project and has termed it irrelevant. In a press release, the Sanchaya has stated that the government had made a wrong move by taking up the project in the first place, which was considered unscientific. Moreover, the statistics were tampered by the government and also the size of the project was increased by proposing to draw water even from the River Kumaradhara.
The association has strongly maintained that the survey on the social impact of the project would not address the problems. Instead, the government needs to conduct a study on the reduced flow of water on environment and on groundwater-level. The scientific study should also include the study on the affects on Western Ghats, the source of the rivers.
The water needed for the project, comprising five districts is only five to six TMC, while the amount of water planned to be drawn is 24 TMC. The Central government has been wrongly informed by the state government that the project is meant only for drinking water purpose.
The association has added that the protests in DK, Udupi and Sakaleshpur would be intensified if the government does not clarify the doubts regarding the project. Also, statements are being made on Paschima Vahini project, which includes diverting several west-flowing rivers by constructing check dams across the course of the rivers. The proposed project, will be detrimental to these rivers, the release said.
The Dakshina Kannada and Udupi district units of CPI have also stated in their press releases that the Yettinahole project lacks vision and scientific approach. The project will only create misunderstanding between the people of the coastal districts and plain region. The release also lamented that there was no opposition to the project when it was proposed in the Assembly.
There are many speculations over the successful implementation of the project. If so, the project would result in a loss of whopping Rs 13,000 crore to the exchequer, the press release issued by CPI district unit Secretary V Kukyan stated. He has also urged the government to carry out a scientific study on the project and also to frame a permanent water policy to solve water problems in the State.
The DK District Planning Committee meeting passed a resolution against the implementation of Yettinahole project here on Wednesday. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Zilla Panchayat president Asha Thimmappa Gowda.
The meeting decided to urge the State government to drop the project as it was harmful to the region. Instead the government should solve the water woes of the district, the members said and added that there was confusion in the minds of the people regarding the project.
The resolution said : We are not against supplying water to parched districts. However, it should not be at the cost of the people of the district. The DK district is also facing shortage of water. We had proposed to the government to implement 22 multi-village drinking water schemes to ease the drinking water woes in the district. Unfortunately, the government has approved only five. The government should implement those programmes that will not affect the district.
The district is facing shortage of funds for the construction of anganwadi centres, schools and health centres in urban areas. The ULBs do not have funds to construct the buildings. Zilla Panchayat cannot give its grant. Hence, there is a need to solve the problem. Zilla Panchayat president should be nominated to the state planning commission. A resolution was passed in this regard.
The City Corporation, CMC, Town panchayats, taluk panchayats and Zilla Panchayat should pay the planning committee fee. However, it was found that MCC and other ULBs had not paid the fee. As a result, the meetings and workshops couldn’t be conducted. The planning committee fee should be paid within October 5, the meeting resolved. The ZP president Asha Thimmappa Gowda directed Chief Planning Officer to write a letter to the MCC in this regard.
The district planning committee meeting, which was postponed four times in the past, was not attended by Ministers, MLAs, DC, ZP CEO, EOs and chief officers. Zilla Panchayat Vice President Sathish Kumpala said that planning committee plays a crucial role in preparing the projects for the district. "If elected representatives failed to attend the meeting, then it shows their concern for the development of the district," he added.