Mangaluru: September 10, 2015: If you want a Kalasa Banduri type of agitation, you will get it,’’ warned Dr Niranjan Rai, a doctor at Uppinangady. Rai is one of the activists who spearheads the anti-Yettinahole agitation under the banner of ’Committee against Nethravathi River Diversion (Yettinahole) Project’.
"This is an international issue since it affects the Western Ghats, which is one of the 10 biological hotspots in the world. On one hand, the government takes money for the preservation of Ghats, and on the other, it destroys with such projects,’’ Dr Rai alleged.
His warning comes in the backdrop of the September 15 protest, which will block the Bengaluru-Mangaluru National Highway against the implementation of the Yettinahole project.
Dr Rai said it was appalling to hear chief minister Siddaramaiah not listening to their woes. "On September 15, we will decide when the government should respond. If they do not respond by the deadline, the nature of the agitation will change dramatically," he warned.
He said the people in Dakshina Kannada has still not understood the deleterious effects of the project. The agitation, therefore, had not reached a full blown stage. "If the government wants a Kalasa Banduri, we will give them in due time if they do not pay heed to our demands. The CM should realize that DK is also a part of the state and their problems also should be heard," Dr Rai noted.
Regarding the project he said studies have shown that there is only nine TMC of water available at Yettinahole, the source of Nethravathi River. "When the department surveyed water levels at Bantwal Thumbe Dam some years back, we thought they were fools. Now, we understand the gravity of the situation and they were not fools. It was a part of devious plan to divert all available water to other parts of the state," he said.
"The dimensions of this fight is changing and it will grow fierce in the coming days if the government does not respond," he warned.