Bengaluru, Dec 5, 2015: With the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) expected to give clearance to the controversial Yettinahole project on December 18, the government has decided to seek more time from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to state its stand on the appropriateness of the project.
The NGT will hear the case on Monday and the government will inform the tribunal on maintaining status quo on the project. The government will not execute project work till further orders from the tribunal, Minister for Water Resources M.B. Patil told presspersons after an all-party meeting in Bengaluru on Friday, Dec 4.
The project covers 14 acres of the forest in the Western Ghat. The MoEF will hold a meeting on December 18 and is expected to clear the State’s plea, Mr. Patil said.
After clearance from the MoEF, the government will give its position on the appropriateness of the drinking water project before the NGT, he said. The meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, was attended by Opposition leaders and Cabinet Ministers.
Mr. Siddaramaiah said the project would not be stopped and assured the Opposition leaders that hurdles would be cleared.
The Rs. 12,912-crore Yettinahole project envisages drinking water to districts of Bengaluru Rural, Kolar, Tumakuru and Chickballapur. A sum of Rs. 1,598.74 crore had been spent on the project till October, 2015. Currently, works have been taken up in five packages. Mr. Patil said there would not be any difficulty in obtaining clearance from the MoEF since it was a drinking water project.