Diversion of Netravathi river practically impossible, say experts


Throwing light on the merits and demerits of the river diversion during a separate session on “Fisheries, diversion of Netravathi, agriculture and rural development” conducted as part of the seminar, NMPT former chief engineer M M Kamath said it is highly impossible to get forest and environment clearance to the river diversion project since it will cause extensive damages to the reserve forests, wildlife, soil and the total eco-system.

“The storage reservoir required for the project is not feasible as well as possible due to the typical topography of the region. It is also practically impossible to construct and maintain a garland canal of about 500 km length,” he observed.
Kamath said the project would cause hydraulic equilibrium on the one hand, and reduction in sediment supply to the beaches on the other. Increased coastal erosion would worsen situation.

Even the total cost of the project has not been estimated yet. The government will have to face a lot of legal problems too, he added.
The only justification one can give to the project is that the natural resources should be distributed among the people of a State equally, and the people in the coastal districts depend a lot on the rest of the dry districts when it comes to agricultural produces, he said.

Head of the Extension Education in the Fisheries College S M Shivaprakash who spoke on the fisheries scenario, emphasised on the need for “responsible fishing” to preserve the sector for the future generation.

Bellare Government First Grade College lecturer Narendra Rai Derla who spoke on the agriculture scenario said the stable life of Tuluvas is becoming unstable day by day due to the dominance of commercialisation over the agriculture-centric society.
SKDRDP Executive Director L H Manjunath who spoke on rural development said rural development can be achieved only through rural reconstruction.
He emphasised on a holistic approach for development that includes positive growth in economic, social, ethical and spiritual sectors.
Karnataka Fisheries Development Corporation Chairman Ramachandra Baikampady chaired the session. Fisheries College former director H P C Shetty, KCCI former head Subbaiah Shetty and Campco President S R Rangamurthy were present.

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