Mangaluru, Nov 24, 2015 : Prof Mayya told media here on Nov 23, Monday that the damage to the Western Ghats would have a cascading effect on water availability in south India as most of the rivers have their origin in these Ghats.
While the United Nations World Water Development Report 2015 stresses the importance of investing in the protection of water-related ecosystems, the Karnataka government has been doing just the opposite, he said. If the Western Ghats are not protected, they would surely face the fate of Uttaranchal, he said.
The Yettinahole project implementation will not only cause irreparable damage to the Western Ghats region in Karnataka, but also open a new front of disputes with the Krishna and Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunals, cautioned S.G. Mayya, retired professor of NIT-K, Surathkal.
Elaborating on the possible inter-State river dispute over the project, Prof Mayya said the National Water Disputes Authority had submitted to the Green Tribunal that 8.98 tmcft of water would be released from Yettinahole project to irrigation tanks in Cauvery and Krishna river basins.
Inter-State dispute : The authority had told the tribunal, before which pleas from residents of Dakshina Kannada questioning the Yettinahole project were pending, that the water dispute tribunals would have to account the 8.98 tmcft of water in allocation of water from Cauvery and Krishna Rivers to Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, respectively. Thus, Karnataka would have to share even the Yettinahole waters with neighbouring States, Mayya said.
At the same time, Karnataka’s argument before the Green Tribunal that people of river basins did not have any right over the Nethravati, was dangerous. If such an argument was accepted, people of river basins across the State would lose their right to use the water perpetually amounting to gross violation of fundamental rights.