'River diversion is dangerous colourful dream'

 
Delivering a key-note address at an interactive meeting on ‘Why we don’t want Netravathi river diversion project? What is the alternative?’ organised jointly by the Guruvayanakere Nagarika Seva Trust (NST), Dakshina Kannada Parisarasaktara Okkuta and Karavali Mahila Jagruthi Vedike here on Tuesday, he said meddling with the nature in one of the hotspots of bio-diversity is wrong.

“As per the proposed project, two garland canals will be constructed at 922 metres and 850 metres above the sea level. These canals will supply water to 38 reservoirs which will be constructed for the purpose. Construction of canals would result in destruction of forest which in turn result in imbalance in nature,” he said.

The government’s proposed project to supply water to 57 taluks at an estimated cost of Rs 12,500 crore shows lack of foresightedness.

In the name of such projects in Coastal and Malnad region, government is taking away the life of the people of the region. He appealed the government not to snatch away the ‘remaining smile’ from the people of the region in the name of Nethravathi river diversion.

Alternatives

Stating that the government can think of alternatives to Nethravathi river diversion, Padre said community awareness campaign on the model of Tamil Nadu can be started in plains. Rajasthan which receives 200 to 500 mm rainfall in a year has grown greenery with the help of rainwater harvesting.

Plains receive an average of 400 to 800 mm rainfall. Accordingly, every hectare gets 16 to 32 lakh litre water.

Government can introduce a sustainable method which can store the rainwater. Sandeepani Sadhanashrama Seer Eshavitaladasa said several projects are coming up in undivided Dakshina Kannada district which are harmful to the nature.

It shows how much our elected representatives have concern towards the district. There is a need to stage protest against such harmful projects.  MLA U T Khader said the name of Nethravathi river diversion has changed to Pashchima Ghatta thiruvu yojane. We need public support to fight against the proposed project of river diversion.


‘Elected reps absent’
Nagarika Seva Trust President Somanath Naik took elected representatives to task for not attending the interactive programme. He said for the primary survey, a sum of Rs 15 crore has been released by the government. Mounting pressure from the elected representatives of Chitradurga, Kolara, Bangalore, Tumkur are responsible for the government favouring the project. There is a need to raise voice against the project in Assembly. In fact, the interactive programme was fixed after consulting District-in-Charge Minister and elected representatives. Their absence is highly disappointing, he added.

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