Mangaluru: Anganawadi workers staged a protest in front of the Deputy Commissioner’s Office here, on October 29.
Prior to the protest, a jatha was held from the Karavali grounds, all the Anganawadi workers marched in a procession which culminated at the DC office.
Addressing the protestors, social activist M G Hegde said, “Our voice should reach the government. The government has fooled the people of Dakshina Kannada that they will provide rain water to Kolar. According to them the water which flows from the Western Ghats to the Netravati river during rainy season is considered as rain water. This is not aYettinahole river diversion project but this is the first step to divert the Netravati river. If they will not get enough water from Yettinahole, they will next come to Kumaradhara and then divert the Netravati river.”
He further said that earlier the project cost was Rs 8500 crores. “But now it has reached Rs 13000 crores; later on it may increase to over Rs 30000 crores and finally may cross Rs 50,000 crores. The government is spending so much money to provide water toKolar. Instead if the government will put the same amount in a bank on fixed deposit, the government can provide Bisleri water to the people of Kolar with the interest they get.”
He also said that the Supervisor of Anganawadi workers, Sundar Poojary, had threatened women not to participate in the protest. “But Sundar Poojary has forgotten that he too drinks the water from the Netravati river and if the river is diverted, he and his children will also suffer. Some women did not take part in the protest because of Sundar Poojary’s threats. If he threatens women or Anganawadi workers, I will stage a protest in front of Sundar Poojary’s house,” he warned.
“We are not against providing water to Kolar or Chikkaballapur. But the government should think whether there is sufficient water available or not. If there will be water crisis in the district, women will suffer the most.” He said that this time women are holding water pots in their hands but if the government will not stop the project, the day will is not far when they will hold brooms in their hands and protest.
Parish Priest of Rosario Church Fr J B Crasta addressing the protesters said that the government should study the project in detail before implementing it. “After spending so much money if the water will not be available there, then the people of not only DakshinaKannada but also of Kolar and Chikkaballapur will suffer.” He said that the government should drop the project because the Varahi Project was a failure and even after spending a huge amount of money, the project did not bring any relief to Udupi. “Instead of continuing the project the government should take a decision and stop the project from continuing,” he said.
Jayalaxmi B R, Vishalakshi and Vijay Kumar Shetty also spoke on the occasion. Later, the protesters submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner A B Ibrahim. Advisor of ACSA Dinaker Shetty, Deputy Mayor Purushotham Chitrapur, Yogesh Jeppu and others were also present.