Mangaluru, May 17, 2016: It was a afternoon that meant business loud and clear in Mangaluru as to ’Scrap Yettinahole’ rose to a struggle on Monday May 16, this is only the tip of the ice berg. A huge number of the public, different hues of various religious leaders, politicians, civil society leaders, and members of many organisations took part in a rally under the aegis of ’Netravathi Rakshana Samyukta Samiti’ to protest against the implementation of Yettinahole project under way in the western ghats now.
A well attended and disciplined rally was taken out from Jyothi Circle to DC office. The protesters warned that they will stage a protest in front of Vidhana Soudha in Bengaluru, if the state government does not scrap the project.
A mass of humanity from all walks of life including Christian nuns, participated in the rally holding placards and flags against the project. The rally wended its way through Hampankatta, Town Hall and A B Shetty Circle and culminated at the DC’s office.They raised slogans against the elected representatives who have been batting for the project and also warned that the protest will be intensifed if the government turns does not heed people’s minimum demand.
Speaking at a public meeting held in front of the DC’s office, Samithi President Vijayakumar Shetty said the elected representatives have not raised their voice against the project, though many organisations have been opposing the project and carrying out protests from 2011. He said the ministers from the district should tender their resignation opposing the project.
Shetty said Mangaluru City Corporation, Dakshina Kannada ZP and 60% of the gram panchayats in the district have passed resolutions against the project. Despite this, it has been started following a conspiracy by some politicians, officials and stake holders.
The first phase of the project is now underway. If the people do not raise their voice, it is not possible to save River Netravathi, which will have far reaching long term consequences.
Muslim leader Syed Ibrahim Tanjal said the government should understand that diverting the river flow will have a devastating impact. Even before the project is executed, the district is facing a serious water scarcity. One could imagine the situation after the project is done. The people should join hands and oppose Yettinahole project, irrespective of their religion and caste, he said.
MP Nalin Kumar Kateel said the people of the district are united. "We are even ready to perform ’Karaseve’ for the sake of Netravathi river. The chief minister should hold talks before may 19, Thursday and should pass an order scrapping Yettinahole project," he demanded.
Mangaluru South MLA J R Lobo said the people have all rights to oppose the project and it is not in their welfare as it poses a threat to the lifeline of the district. The trend of executing projects without consulting people should end here, he said.
Odiyoor Mutt pontiff Gurudevananda Swami , Rev Fr Willian Menezes, Kemaru Mutt seer Ishavittaladasa Swami, Gurupur Vajradehi Mutt seer Rajashekharananda Swami, Odiyooru Mutt seer Mata Amruthanandamayi, religious leader Jafar Syed, Rev J B Saldanha, former MLA N Yogish Bhat, Horata Samiti Honourary President Ajith Kumar Rai Maladi, SDPI leader Hanif Khan Kodaje, Horata Samiti leaders Harikrishna Bantwal, M G Hegade, Sathyajith Suratkal and others also spoke .
The protesters insisted that the DK DC Adoor B Ibrahim should come and receive their memorandum. As he was at a meeting convened by district in-charge minister at the Circuit House, he sent a message stating that he will direct the additional deputy commissioner to receive the memorandum.
Enraged, the protesters raised slogans against the district in-charge minister and the DC. They also tried to enter the premises of the DC’s office. But police stopped them and gates were kept closed. The DC received the memorandum from them later.