Mangaluru, September 17, 2015: Protests against the Yettinahole diversion project continue in the city; green activists have invited about 13 elected representatives, including MPs, MLAs and MLCs, for a face-to-face with them and answer their 10 questions here on September 19. The interaction is to be at Roshni Nilaya, Valencia at 4 p.m.. The questions have been asked by Sahyadri Sanchaya, a registered body of green activists.
Those who have been invited for the interaction are M. Veerappa Moily and D V Sadananda Gowda, MPs and former Chief Ministers; Nalin Kumar Kateel, MP of Dakshina Kannada; B. Ramanath Rai, U.T. Khader and K. Abhayachandra Jain, State ministers; J.R. Lobo, B.A. Mohiuddin Bava, K. Vasanth Bangera, T. Shakuntala Shetty and S. Angara, all MLAs; and Capt. Ganesh Karnik and Ivan D’Souza, MLCs.
The activists have sent them a report titled: “Environmental Flow Assessment in Yettinahole. Where is 24 tmcft of water to divert?” by the Centre of Ecological Sciences of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru. The IISc had released the report in April. The report has said that the total yield of water in Yettinahole catchment area was 9.55 tmcft and only 0.85 tmcft was available for diversion after deducting the 8.7 tmcft of water required for domestic purposes, crop, livestock and natural flow to be maintained.
This report contradicts the claim of the Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Ltd which has said that 24 tmcft of water was available for diversion. Some of the questions included whether the forest department has sanctioned 600 hectare of forest land required for the project, if not Mr. Rai, minister for forests, environment and ecology, should clarify whether his department would sanction it. If the government would have studied the pros and cons of the project and prepared the report it should place it before the people.
The activists said the project area was in the elephant corridor. The government should clarify how it would protect the corridor. The other questions were pertaining to plans of lifting water collected from Yettinahole to Palar river and disputes that might arise from it, and electricity required for the project (power to pump water from eight weirs). There is good enthusiasm in this regard from thousands of local people.
On Wednesday, the Environmental activists and artists took out a procession for nearly two hours from the DC office to MCC office. Tableaux with two fibre-made statues, one of a women representing the Nethravathi and the other of a demon like character with a sword representing the political system exploiting the Nethravathi. In front of it, children from swaroopa Adhyayana Kendra and others, with one wearing a demon like mask and others wearing facial make-up, marched on the roads.