Mangaluru, June 22, 2016: Speaking at an interaction programme organised between elected representatives and Nethravathi Rakshana Samyukta Samithi activists at Sahodaya Hall at Balmatta on June 21, Tuesday. Rajya Sabha MP Oscar Fernandes said the state government will hold a meeting to speak to experts and activists in connection with Yettinahole project issue.
MP Oscar Fernandes said he has already spoken to irrigation minister and he has given consent to convene a meeting of officials, activists and experts over the issue. The MP said he had earlier spoken to the chief minister about holding a meeting in this regard. But the meetings were called off twice due to elections. He asked the Samithi activists to suggest a date and the list of experts to be invited for the meeting.
MP Fernandes said the meeting will be held once the place and the date are fixed and efforts will be made to find out the answers to the questions posed by the activists. He hoped that the meeting will turn out to be productive.
BJP leader and activist Sathyajith Suraktal said one of the meetings was called off as it coincided with the festival of Vijayadashami and hence, the activists could not make it to Bengaluru.
River basins authority : Experts felt for a need to establish Coastal River Basins Authority to ensure water rights to the people of coastal Karnataka. NITK former professor S G Mayya said the implementation of Yettinahole project will have a long-lasting impact not only on the coastal line, but also on other districts as most of the rivers originate in Western Ghats.
He said, “If the project is implemented, the Western Ghats would be adversely affected due to loss of river sources. This will result in the drying up of rivers in the district. Hence, the government should establish Karavali River Basins Authority to protect the water rights of the people of the region.”
Mayya said the fundamental guidelines have been ignored while preparing the detailed project report of the project. Riparian right and prior appropriation rights, which have been internationally adopted, are neglected. Uncertain data is provided and there are a lot of conceptual errors. For instance, water availability is exaggerated and projected as 24 tmcft instead of nine tmcft. The actual forest land to be used in the Western Ghats for the project is nowhere mentioned in the report. The rainfall data is based on the inputs by the coffee estate owners and not from the Meteorological Department, he charged.
Mayya saw a hidden agenda behind the project to draw all future water requirements of Bengaluru city from River Nethravathi.
Kemaru Mutt seer Isha Vittaladasa Swamiji, Gurupur Vajradehi Mutt seer Rajashekharananda Swamiji, Mangaluru South MLA J R Lobo, Puttur MLA Shakuntala Shetty, MLC Pratap Chandra Shetty, MLC Capt Ganesh Karnik, former minister Yogish Bhat, former minister Amarnath Shetty, MCC former Deputy Mayor Purushottam Chitrapur, JD(S) district unit President Muhammed Kunhi and SDPI district President Hanif Konaje were present.
No threat to Govt : Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a dialogue on the Yettinahole project here, Senior Congress leader Oscar Fernandes, MP, on Tuesday said that the Karnataka government was not unstable due to a threat and ‘dissidence’ of disgruntled legislators.
He said that the party had the numbers in the Legislative Assembly. MP Fernandes said that the party was in touch with the legislators who were unhappy either for being dropped out of the Ministry or for not being inducted into it during the recent Cabinet reshuffle.
Protest : Responding to another question, he said that he disapproved party workers’ protest resulting in damage to public property. It should not have happened.
Allegations : Asked about the allegations that he was responsible for the dropping of Vinay Kumar Sorake thereby hurting the sentiments of Billava community in coastal districts, Oscar Fernandes said if it was true, he was prepared for any sacrifice. He had no role in it he stressed.