Mangaluru, Dec 12, 2015: In a media meet Dec 11 Friday, Niranjan Rai of the Netravathi Nadi Samrakshana Okkoota informed that it is decided to lay siege on Bantwal Taluk Office on December 15 as a mark of protest against the Yettinahole diversion project.
The Okkoota said they were carrying out the protest demanding scrapping of the project that causes extensive harm to the ecology of the Western Ghats and also harms the Netravathi, the lifeline of the region. This project was also a drain to public exchequer as it has been designed in an unscientific way.
“We know (the division bench of) National Green Tribunal stayed execution of the project a few days ago. Our protest is for complete scarping of the project,” he said.
On December 15, members of various organisations will be marching from the Polali Temple arch at B.C. Road junction to the taluk office where there will be a demonstration.
Dr. Rai said he was sad that Dakshina Kannada MP Nalin Kumar Kateel had still not made any efforts to take up the issue of the project with the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. He said MP Kateel should tell the Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar about the violations of forest and environment norms by the State government while going ahead with the project.
Artist and activist Dinesh Holla said the Okoota plans to carry out demonstrations at places where Ministers B. Ramanath Rai and U.T. Khader are attending functions in Mangaluru. Holla said they were agitated over alleged neglect of Minister Rai of issues raised by activists against Yettinahole project. They were unhappy regarding the diabolical stand of Minister Khader regarding the project.
Earlier, K.N. Somashekar, an advocate and member of Paschima Ghatta Samrakshana Horata Samiti, said the State Government for a long time did not approach the MoEF -Ministry of Environment and Forest for mandatory clearance to carry out works related to the project. It was only when they approached the National Green Tribunal that the government filed application seeking clearance.
K N Somashekar said MoEF officials will be visiting the project area on December 18 and decide on application seeking clearance for the project. Somashekar said activists have been barred from meeting MoEF officials during their visit.