Activists oppose Yetthinahole project

Meet decides to hold protests till project is dropped

Leaders of various organisations from Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Hassan districts decided to hold protests till the State government drops the Yetthinahole project that proposes to supply water to parts of Tumakuru, Chikkaballapur and Kolar districts. A coordination committee, with 17 members, has been formed for the purpose.

The decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of environmentalists and leaders of various organisations held, under the aegis of Malenadu Janapara Horata Samithi, at the Town Hall, here, on Saturday.

The other resolutions are in connection with organising awareness programmes at six affected villages, in the taluk, by holding padayatras and to warn officials who take up works in relation to the project. Hiridanahalli, Aaluvalli, Kadagarahalli, Hebbasale, Naagara and Halasulige villages will be affected badly if the project is implemented, they said.

The activists also decided to put up banners and hoardings, warning the officials concerned and to create awareness among the farmers. “We will urge the Deputy Commissioner to convene a mass contact programme about the project and stage protest demonstrations in front of the Assistant Commissioner’s office at Sakleshpur. We demand the MLA and other people’s representatives to make their viewpoint about the project public,” the activists said.

Samithi President Kishore Kumar said, the project, claimed to supply drinking water, which was unscientific and would lead to the destruction of the Western Ghats.

“The primary estimate for the project is Rs 12,000 crore, and it is expected to go up to ten folds by the time something materialises. It is just a sea of funds for the contractors, officials and people’s representatives. The people to be affected by it have not been given any information. The government should hold several public deliberations about the pros and cons of the project, involving environmentalists, farmers, experts and other stakeholders. But, not even a single meeting has been held so far,” Kishore Kumar said.

He said, the project which involves streams like Yettinahole, Kadumanehole, Kirihole and Hongadahallahole, requires construction of eight reservoirs, laying of a 274-km long pipeline, construction of a total of 12.5 km aquaduct, realignment of several roads, displacement of hundreds of people, and destruction of hundreds of hectares of forests. “Even then there is no guarantee that the project will be a success,” Kishore Kumar added.

Writer Shashidar Shetty said, the man-animal conflict was already alarming, and if the project is executed, the problem would only aggravate.
Sundar Rao from Bantwal said, the project would result in the disruption of the rain pattern in the coastal areas and on the Western Ghats.

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