Mangaluru: Senior Congress leader Janardhan Poojary held a press meet at the District Congress Office here, on September 21.
Addressing the mediapersons, Poojary said, “The Yettinahole river diversion project is a huge scam. Some political leaders are trying to mislead chief minister Siddaramaiah. It has been pre-planned to de-stabilize the government by pressurising the CM.”
He further said that the people’s representatives and the government officers are trying to make the wrong moves. 24TMC of water is not available in Yettinahole. Scientists from Ecological Centre, Indian Institute of Science and T V Ramachandran have studied the Yettinahole project, rectified the water availability and submitted the report. In the report it has clearly been mentioned that only 9.7 TMC water is available in Yettinahole and not 20 TMC. Out of 9 TMC, 5.84 TMC is utilized by the locals while 2.84 TMC just flows and is wasted with .84TMC remaining, he said.
“Being a Union minister, Sadananda Gowda does not have the time to read the report which is in his hand. He said that it is more than 1000 feet above sea level and there is no problem for the Netravati river and that the water will be diverted from there itself. Gowda has been fooling the people of Kolar and Chikkaballapur. For one TMC water, more than Rs 1142 crores has already been spent. Whose money is that? Did Gowda take permission from the state ministers? In 1980, Indira Gandhi had brought the Conservation of Forest Act. Without following that act, how did Sadananda Gowda give the approval for the river diversion project? This project will cost more than Rs 13000 crore. Is there any idea on how many years it will take to divert just one TMC of water? If the project will take 10 to 15 years, more than Rs 30,000 crores will be spent. What is the benefit of this project?” he questioned.
“In the last 2 and half years of the Siddaramaiah government, there has not been a single scam. Let him be the Chief Minister for 15 years. Why are you [Gowda] jealous about the CM? If a former CM acts like this, how will the people of Kolar treat him? What face will he show to them? Why did the government officers as well as the elected representatives not call for local tenders before starting any project?”
“Instead, you have given the contract to Meghna construction. The company is partnered by Kapil Mohan, an IAS officer who is facing charges of corruption. Poojary, recalling a statement of Sadananda Gowda that “Poojary is doing for this publicity”, replied, “I am not doing this for my publicity; for the people of Dakshina Kannada, I have taken up this fight. You are trying to destroy the lives of the people of DK,” questioning, “If you speak the truth what you will lose?”
“Power is not permanent. If the people of Doddaballapur, Chikkaballapur and Kolar will come to know the double standards of D V Sadananda Gowda, they will not forgive him. If what he said that ‘Poojary criticizes for everything’ would have been true, then I would have criticized when there was an allegation on his son. Are you Satya Harischandra?” he questioned addressing Gowda.
“Now most of the ministers and people’s representatives have realized what the Yettinahole project is. Ramanath Rai and Abhayachandra Jain understood the project, but Health Minister U T Khader talks as he wants. Has Khader studied the report? I had previously said that there is good future for U T Khader; but being an advocate, is this his statement? Will the people of Kolar not understand the game that he is playing?” he questioned, adding, “Chief Minister Siddaramaiah trusted the elected members. Why did they not study the report? I am with the Chief Minister; we should not cheat or fool anyone who has put their trust in us. Where is Shobha Karandlaje now? She is also from Puttur. Why is she not raising her voice now?”
He further said that all the elected representatives should go to Chennai and submit a memorandum to stop the project. He also urged the government to hand over the Yettinahole river diversion project for a CID enquiry. “Those who are involved in the initiation of the project should be punished,” he added.
Harikrishna Bantwal, Arun Coelho and others were also present.