Mangaluru: The Sahyadri Sanchaya staged a protest, “Yettinahole Uttara Needi”, in front of the DC office here on September 3.
Addressing the protesters, founder of Sahyadri Sanchaya Dinesh Holla said that the ministers, MLAs and the MP from Dakshina Kannada district should discuss the Yettinahole project with the people of Mangaluru. “We do not need your statements or opinions on the project. On September 19, we will have an open discussion with the MLAs, Ministers and the MP of DK at Roshni Nilaya where we will ask 10 questions regarding the project which the political leaders should answer. If they give satisfactory answers, we will stop our agitation; if they are not able to answer, they have to drop the project,” he said.
He further said that people from all walks of life, forgetting their caste, creed and party have gathered here to protest against the Yettinahole project to save the river from being diverted. “There is very poor support from the people of the district. Because of the silence of the good people, the government has continued the project. It is the need of the hour to join together to save our river Netravati. If we will not take this issue seriously in the coming days, we will face severe water crisis,” he warned.
Activist Dinesh Pai Kateel said that the elected members are not raising their voice against the project. “Minister Ramanath Rai himself is the president of Bio-diversity forum and he has the power to stop this project by not granting the permission to use the forest land. If he cannot oppose the project, let him resign from his post. The Zilla Panchayat elections are ahead, if the elected members will not stop this project, we will hold campaigns against the elected members.”
Social activist Abhinand, speaking on the occasion said, “People in DK are very hesitant to come out and fight for the right cause. I am from Sakleshpur and I am here to fight against the Yettinahole project. The people of DK will be the most affected ones. They need to come out on the streets to fight against the project. If people will not come out and show their opposition to the Yettinahole project, I will create awareness among the people by travelling on horse all over the district.”
Leader of the fishermen community Ramachandra Baikampady said, “The fishermen community will be badly affected from the project because in December, the water from the Netravati river will not flow into the sea, rather the sea water will flow towards Netravati river, making it salty. In Mangaluru, people face water scarcity; if we allow the project to continue, in the future people will face severe water crisis.” He said that fish breeding occurs in the months of June and July but if the river water will be diverted, the breeding of fish will be affected. We have to join hands to oppose the project, he added.
Harikrishna Punaroor said that this is not the fight of any religion or party, it is a fight to save our mother river. “If we will not fight against the project, our beautiful Tulunadu will be destroyed.” He urged the people of DK to raise their voices against the Yettinahole project.
Students from Swaroop performed a street play to bring awareness among the people about the disadvantages of Yettinahole river diversion.