Mangaluru: Senior Congress leader Janardhan Poojary held a press meet at the DKDC office here, on August 29.
Addressing the mediapersons, Poojary said that Netravati is a very important river and since it flows through a famous pilgrimage place, it is also considered as one of the holy rivers in the country. It merges with many rivers and is the main source of water for the people of Dakshina Kannada. In light of the recent water crisis that the entire district suffered for 5 days, he said that if the Yettinahole Diversion project will be continued, the entire district would face water crises and suffer economically since DK is known for education. Students, come here from other districts, states and countries to pursue their education, may be driven away due to the water crises.
“Our District has also made name in the medical field and people come from other states as well as countries come for treatment. If we face water crisis, all the engineering, medical and education institutions will have be closed down. In the hospitals, patients will not get proper water and the hospitals will fail to provide proper treatment.”
He further cited examples of the 116-year-old Mullaperiyar dam which was diverted to Tamil Nadu, diversion of the Colorado River in USA and also the disappearance of the Aral Sea in the Soviet Union. “If we will not stop the Yettinahole river diversion project, we will also face the same situation and problems in future,” he said. “
Former chief ministers from BJP and Congress party who are born and brought up in this district are the root cause of this project. The former Congress CM is a main proponent of the Yettinahole project, because he promised the people of Chikkaballapur constituency of providing water and later the then CM also supported this project. Both the BJP and the Congress are trying to gain political mileage by supporting the Yettinahole project. They know that the project will cause environmental damage. Even the people’s representatives are also not raising their voices against the project because they want to remain in power. The Yettinahole Diversion Project will not meet the demand of the proposed 24TMC water. If the river will be diverted, the fertility of the agricultural land will be lost. Now arrangements are underway to change the path of the river so that the dry land areas above the Western Ghats can be irrigated but changing the path of the river might lead to unforeseen environmental disasters. It might affect the marine life due to reduced outflow of freshwater and the subsequent decline of nutrients flowing into the sea.”
The people who have settled near the river bank are dependent on fishing and agriculture. During the summer, the Netravati river is the main source of water for agriculture. If the river will be diverted, the people who depend on fishing and agriculture will face severe problems, he said. Poojary strongly opposed the project and said that the people of Dakshina Kannada should support the protest against the Yettinahole river diversion and stop the project.
Shakir Assault Case
Speaking on the recent assault on a Muslim youth Shakir, Poojary said that the Hindu activists performed an inhumane act by tying Shakir to an electric pole, stripping and assaulting him. He said that police commissioner Murugan has done a wonderful job by arresting 13 persons in this case and is praiseworthy, while at the same time, the commissioner should find out the root cause of this assault and book the main persons behind this act under the Goonda Act. Recalling his childhood days in Bokkapatna, Poojary said, “My birth place is Bokkapatna and till date, the people from all faiths call me Doddanna. There are Christians, Hindus and Muslims there who live in unity, but now some Hindu leaders are inciting the youth to create communal disharmony in the city. Police should find the people inciting communal hatred and book them under the Goonda Act.”
Former Mayor Mahabala Marla, Harikrishna Bantwal and others were also present.