Mangaluru, Sep 15, 2015: “I am a part of the state government. The government’s stand on Yettinahole Project is also my stand,” said DK District in-charge Minister and State Minister for Forest and Ecology B Ramanatha Rai.
Speaking to media men here on September 14, Monday, Rai said only 13.92 hectare forest land in Sakleshpur taluk will be lost for the project and clearance for the same has been sought from the Centre. He also made it clear that no forest area in DK district would be affected by the project.
Rai further stated that he cannot say anything much regarding the project as it is a project of the Major Irrigation Department.
“This project is not my solitary decision. Five years ago, the then Chief Minister DV Sadananda Gowda had approved the project after much deliberations in both houses. All the then legislators of the state are responsible for the pros and cons of the project. The Chief Minister had convened a meeting of all MLAs in Bengaluru before implementing the project,” he said adding all MLAs had approved the project.
To a question regarding the fears expressed by activists that the project may be a failure. Rai said “I cannot oppose it when his government itself has agreed to implement the project.” I am not the person who speaks something in the assembly and says something entirely different outside the assembly, he said.
When his attention was drawn towards MP Nalin Kumar deciding to join the movement against Yettinahole, Rai said “I cannot be a part of such drama.” On senior party leader Janardhana Poojary’s comments, he said it was his personal stand.
Rai refused to answer another question on the IISc report on Yettinahole Project. Asked if he would not be responsible if Netravathi river is affected, Rai retorted and said “Why are you questioning me alone? Why not question Sadananda Gowda?”
Though Rai said a meeting would be convened to discuss the project, he did not give a clear cut reply as to when the meet would be held.