Tarikere farmers object EIA report on Bhadra Upper Canal Project

Implementation of the project would leave 16 lakes dry

A meeting was held on Wednesday at Ambedkar Bhavan to collect opinion of people on the Impact Assessment report and addressing the gathering, retired chief engineer Arekal Chandrashekar said that the tunnel construction for the project will make Tarikere a barren land. He said that with the implementation of the project, 16 lakes will go dry, 1600 acre of areca plantation, 800 acre of mango plantation and 800 acre of coconut grooves will die.

Bhadra Meldande Virodha Horata Samiti Secretary Devananda said that a deep cut canal is being laid in Tarikere town, which will make Kasaba hobli barren.

“The Environment Impact Assessment Report is incomplete. The opinion of various departments must be made known to the public and a meeting must be held after that,” said Chikkavanangala Vyavasaya Seva Sahakari Bank Director M C Shivananda Swamy.
Ravish Basappa from Janadani said that the people of Tarikere are not against the idea of providing water to Chithradurga, Tumkur and Kolar districts. But killing people of Tarikere to provide water to these districts is wrong.

 “It feels like stealing Peter to pay Paul,” Basappa added.

Deputy Commissioner R Narayanaswamy after recording all the opinions said that the reactions will be sent to the Government.

He promised that another meeting will be called after IISc scientists complete their research on tunnel route.

Karnataka Irrigation Board Chithradurga Division Chief Engineer Cheluvaraj said that Karnataka Government administrative approved this project of Rs 5985 crore on September 2008. A sum of Rs 3,388 crore has been set aside for irrigation and Rs 2,597 has been earmarked for drinking water.

Superintendent of Police M N Nagaraj, CPI District Secretary Amjad, District Congress President M L Murthy, Raitha Sangha Leader Gurushanthappa among others were present.

What report says

The report was prepared on the basis of the study conducted by Environmental Health and Safety Consultants Bangalore in various zones of the region from December 2007- September 2008.

The proposed project extends from Thunga river area to catchment areas in Chithradurga district and it required 230 hectares of forest land and 5,015.37 hectare of private land.

Every year, 15 tmc water will be lifted upto 75 mts and will be filled into Bhadra reservoir which is 10 kmts away, from June to October. Simultaneously, 21.5 tmc water in Bhadra reservoir will be lifted to 94 mts and water will be then provided to Chithradurga district through 30 km long canal and 6.9 km tunnel in Ajjampura.

The project does not speak of rehabilitation. Since 5,015.37 hectare private land will be acquired for the implementation of the project, the land losers are entitled to get rehabilitation and compensation under the National Rehabilitation and Compensation Policy 2007.

The entire project area comes under Seismic zone but yet this area has the advantage of being less prone to earthquake.

However, the farmers and the local residents expressed their apprehension over the point of raising objection to the project at this stage when the project has been given administrative approval and when the foundation for the project has already been laid.

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