Mangaluru, June 3, 2015: Sahyadri Samrakshana Sanchaya demads the Union Minister of Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar to stop incorrect appraisals of Yettinahole Project in Karnataka on the basis of inaccurate/insufficient information for this crooked scheme.
A letter to the minister states that there is need to review the approval. The project is being planned in the Western Ghats and Eastern Plains of Karnataka, by Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Limited (KNNL) in the name of a drinking water supply scheme to supply 24 TMC water to Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts.
The letter says that it is objected for reasons stated below; with express request to immediately order stoppage of the project and also ensure there is no misuse of public money. Further, necessary arrangement should be made to provide drinking water supply to Kolar by rainwater harvesting.
The project has not conducted any impact assessment study and does not have any statutory clearance from ministry of environment and forests. This is in violation of several norms and laws and is shocking.
The letter further says, "Our assessments based on local interactions, site visits, study of project report indicate that the project involveseightdamsinside Western Ghats, deforestation of more than100 ha of forests inside Western Ghats eco-sensitive region, water diversion without any ecological studies, 370 MW of power for pumping, canal of 250 kms length,1200 ha submergence near Devaranyadurga including submergence of two villages and 600 ha forest land. There have been numerous dharnas, hunger strikes, and letters in opposition and Satyagraha in Netravathi River to oppose this project.
Despite growing discontent, neither the Union Ministry of Enrvionment and Forests nor State government have initiated any dialogue with people of the region."
The State government and the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests have failed to address serious ecological impact of the project. Why is the State government and MoEF hiding behind weak technical clauses of EIA Notification 2006 to claim that the project does not qualify for environment appraisal? In fact, the EIA Notification 2006 requires that there is thorough appraisal of project.
The ministry support for the project when RTI reveals that Forest Department has not assessed forest area affected by this project is strange and criminal.