Belthangady, Sep 17,2016 : It has been gathered that a large number of trees are continuing to be axed to facilitate the Yettinahole Project despite the Green Bench of the Supreme Court issuing clear cut instructions to the Karnataka Irrigation Corporation against felling of trees in the Western Ghats without permission. Meanwhile, a team led KN Somashekhar who had filed a case in the Green Tribunal against the project along Yatiraju and others visited the project site on September 16, Friday and conducted an inspection.
The team visited different places in Sakleshpur where it found that hundreds of trees were axed though the Corporation had in its affidavit to the Court on August 29 had stated that just 31 trees were felled. It was further noticed that trees have also been felled in deemed forest area in hilly places and tough terrains.
The irony is that the State Government which has released Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu saying it has to adhere to the orders, has in case of Yettinahole Project has not bothered to adhere to the SC ruling.
At a place called Aluvalli a dam work is underway in a place where trees have been axed. In some places the visiting team found that valuable trees which were felled were being transported. The team even visited the office of GVPR Engineering Ltd.
The team interacted with farmers too and many alleged that some people belonging to the Hassan District Coffeee Growers Association were persuading farmers to let land for the company.
Meanwhile, it is being alleged that the Karnataka Irrigation Corporation has given oral instructions to officers against revealing any detail under RTI Act.