Mangaluru, Sep 20, 2015: A public meeting with the elected representatives and officials of Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Limited on the Yettinahole project convened September 19, was inconclusive with the Ministers, elected representatives and officials having no convincing answers for the queries posed by the activists.
District in-charge minister Ramanath Rai said that five to ten activists from Dakshina Kannada districts, selected by various organisations opposing the project, could discuss their doubts with the experts who prepared the project and also the Irrigation minister. The meeting would be arranged shortly. The officials had no answer when questioned about the delay convening the public meeting, even though the chief minister held such a meeting in Bengaluru, almost a year ago.
Prof S C Mayya of National Institute of Technology Karnataka pointed out that while the DPR detailed project report mentions rainfall in the catchment areas of Yettinahole as 6,280 mm, a report of the NIH - National Institute of Hydrology puts the rainfall at 4,880 mm per annum.
DPR takes into account 6,280 mm rainfall, which was observed in a private coffee estate. While undertaking a project to the tune of Rs 13,000 crore, hydrolic statistics should have been perfect. The conceptual errors in the DPR can not be justified. Hence, the DPR should be rejected.
The flow of water at Yettinahole (in Sakleshpur) and at Bantwal in Dakshina Kannada district (where the availability was calculated) cannot be the same. The estimate on the availability of water is conceptually wrong, Prof Mayya pointed out.
According to the report submitted by the government to the National Green Tribunal, the people on the river basin will have no right on water, and wanted to know the stand of the government on the issue. KNN Chief Engineer Cheluvaraja said that the water issue was not inter-state and hence there was no need to seek permission from the National Water Development Agency.
The KNN official said that the project was based on Paramashivaiah report and it cannot be a failure as the government has a responsibility towards the people of the State. Activist M G Hegde said that the Varahi project which should have been completed by the KNN in five years has taken over 36 years and was still incomplete.
Paramashivaiah had clearly stated that Yettinahole project cannot be successful. Lok Sabha member Nalin Kumar Kateel urged the government to stop the work on the project and clear the doubts in the minds of the people.