Mangaluru: Senior Congress Leader Janardhan Poojary held a press meet at the District Congress office here on October 3.
Addressing the mediapersons Poojary said, “I have met the President of the Indian National Congress party Sonia Gandhi and brought to her notice the present burning issue of Yettinahole river diversion project. I also informed her about the agitation by the students, media and the people of coastal Karnataka against the Yettinahole river diversion. She was surprised to hear the problems and informed Patil to call Chief minister Siddaramaiah and discuss the issue”.
Poojary further said that the proposal of the Government of Karnataka to divert the waters of Yettinahole in Dakshina Kannada District purportedly to alleviate the water scarcity in Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Tumkur, etc, in Karnataka. Realising the futility of the project, the people of these areas too are agitating for a permanent solution. The above proposal was initially proposed by M Veerappa Moily and approved by the BJP Government in the State when Sadananda Gowda was the Chief Minister with an eye on securing votes from the people of Kolar, Chikkaballapur and Tumkur, it was a big conspiracy to fool the public for the sake of securing votes. The Environmental Flow Assessment in Yettlnahole conducted by three eminent scientists from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Dr Ramachandra T V, Dr Vinay S and Dr Bharath H Atthel, in their report submitted recently in April, 2015 to the Union Ministries of Science and Technology and Environment Forests, have concluded, after extensive field study, as under; a Water yield in Yettinahole Catchment is 9.55 TMC (Not 24 TMC projected in the DPR by the State Government). Domestic, crop water, livestock water demand is 5.84 TMC. Environment flow required to sustain eco systems is 2.86 TMC. Available water for diversion is only 0.85 TMC.
The project would lead to further worsening of the water scarcity situation in Coastal areas, particularly in Mangaluru. This project will also not benefit the arid region of Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Tumkur etc. Agriculture, including coconut, arecanut plantation and fisheries, would be adversely affected with depletion of fertile land and ﬂow of fresh water with the required nutrient, and the farmers would be forced to commit suicide in coastal districts.
Poojary said that Chief minister Siddaramaiah should stop the project if he wants to remain in power. Power is not permanent, you are the chief minister for the entire state and not for any particular leader. CM should treat every citizen of the state equally. He also said that when he briefed Sonia Gandhi about the pros and cons of the Yettinahhole project she understood the problems and immediately informed the concerned authorities to look into it. But we doubt whether the forest department studied the report or not. Chief minister should intervene and solve the problems of the people and create history. People of Dakshina Kannada people are not against providing water to anyone but if the project will harm the people of Dakshina Kannada, such projects should be dropped. Chief minister should call a meeting with the scientists from IIS who are in Bengaluru and discuss the project thoroughly and find out a permanent solution to provide water to Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Tumkur etc.
He also advised the CM of Karnataka not to be like Modi or BJP. In Udupi Shobha Karandlaje in her statement said that she will protest against the Yettinahole project but when she reached Puttur she changed her mind. Instead of passing comments it is better to raise their voices in Delhi and pressurize the prime minister to drop the project. It is in the hands of the union government to stop this project. Instead of visiting foreign countries and dancing let Modi try to solve the problems in the country. Media and the students are fighting against the project but the politicians are not raising their voice. Chief minister and the forest department should understand the seriousness of the Yettinahole project.
Harikrishna Bantwal, Purushotham Krishnapura and others were also present.