NRSS meets Pejawar Swamiji, seeks support against Yettinahole Project
Udupi: The members of the Nethravathi Rakshana Samyukta Samithi (NRSS) met Sri Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji of Paryaya Pejawar Math on Thursday, June 9 to convince him to take leadership against the Yettinahole project and save the Netravati river.
Explaining the situation of the Yettinahole project, former MLA and president of the Samithi, Vijay Kumar Shetty said that the Netravati river is the lifeline of the district. “The state government has decided to implement the Yettinahole project to provide water to the people of Kolar, which is nothing but a way to cheat the people of Dakshina Kannada. The project might provide water to certain parts of Kolar, but it would heavily affect the environment, farming and fisheries. The people of Dakshina Kannada have been opposing this project for the last three years. The Samithi has organised two bandhs which the people have supported wholeheartedly, but the state government and the people’s representatives of Dakshina Kannada are not ready to accept the problems of the project. Only MLAs J R Lobo, Shakunthala Shetty, Vasanth Bangera, S Angara and MP Nalin Kumar Kateel have joined hands with our protest.”
“The elected representatives of the district, especially the district in-charge minister B Ramanath Rai, have failed to convince the chief minister the ground reality of the Yettinahole project and the condition of water availability in the district. The chief minister had promised to convene a meeting of those who have been opposing the project in the district. But the elected representatives have failed to carry it forward. The water crisis will worsen in the district if the Yettinahole project is implemented. This year the Mangaluru City Corporation has struggled to provide water to the people in the city. If the project gets implemented, the people may have to migrate from the location. This year due to water shortage, hotels and hostels had been closed. If the situation continues, then the district may face drought in the future.” He urged Pejawar Swamiji to join hands with the Samithi and take leadership to stop Yettinahole project and save the river Netravati.
M G Hegde, another member of the Samithi, said that the state government has completely neglected the concerns of the people of Dakshina Kannada and has not convened a meeting of experts from the district to discuss the consequences that the Yettinahole project may have on the district. The Zilla Panchayat and Mangaluru City Corporation (MCC) passed a resolution against the Yettinahole project, but the government has neglected it. This is injustice to future generations. According to the former professor of NITK Surathkal, S G Mayya, the Yettinahole project report is full of misleading information. As per the DPR, the Neeravari Nigama aims at drawing 24 TMC of water, but the fact is that the total availability of water in the region is less than 9 TMC. Hence, spending thousands of crores of Rupees for a project which will never yield the projected results, is a waste of public money. Now, we have decided to make this campaign more effective with the help of Pejawar Swamiji, Mangaluru Bishop and the Qazi, he added.
After the discussion, Pejawar Swamiji informed the media persons that this issue should be cleared peacefully. “We are not ready to watch a fight between the people of Kolar and Dakshina Kannada for water. We should all come together and solve the issue. I am ready to arrange a meeting of experts in Udupi to discuss the project. By the end of June, we will call a meeting,” he added.
Yogish Shetty Jeppu, Harikrishna Bantwal, Sathyajith Surathkal, Niranjan and others were present during the meeting.