Apart from the demand for implementation of the report, it was also suggested that a forum should be constituted including representatives from Dakshina Kannada to deliberate on the pros and cons of the project. The organisers appealed former Lok Sabha member R L Jalappa to lead such a forum, and he accepted the offer.
Power point presentation
In the beginning, Dr Madhu Seethappa, a London-based doctor gave a Power Point presentation to substantiate the benefits of the project. He said that Paramashivaiah has prepared the project report factoring in the benefits that could be reaped by drawing water from Tunga, Bhadra, Hemavathi, Cauvery, Netravati and Kumaradhara rivers.
He said that water would be flowed to the district using gravitational pull. There would be no construction of dams or destruction of environment nor large-scale displacement of human habitat. He felt that environmentalists opposing the project are doing so without having proper knowledge.
Nonagerian Paramashivaiah said that no one has been evincing interest to implement project that would bring water to Hassan, Mandya, Tumkur, Bangalore Urban and Rural, Chikkaballapur and Kolar districts. “I have been waiting for an opportunity to meet the Chief Minister. Unfortunately, no one is interested,” lamented.
Calling for a political will to implement the project that would provide irrigation to drought-hit areas, the irrigation expert said that the district will not get even a single drop Gundia project.
“Let my report be placed before the experts and let them point out the inadequacies. I have requested to formulate a plan at least on the basis of feasible aspects in the report,” he said.
Replying to question his stance, if here to be the chief secretary, Paramashivaiah said that he would have constituted an independent committee to look into the feasibility of implementing the project.
However, vice-chancellor of Devaraj Urs University, Dr Chandrashekhar Shetty gave a different direction to the deliberations. He opined that the pros and cons of implementing the report should be discussed threadbare. “Organising workshops with emphasis on the need to implement the report amounts to discrimination. Just as the benefits are discussed, the disadvantages should also be discussed. Representatives from Dakshina Kannada should have been accommodated in the forum and an opportunity should have been provided to air the reservations as well. The discussion should focus on implementing the project to the advantage of both sides,” he noted apprehending unrest in case of inequitable distribution of water.
Member of Legislative Council V R Sudarshan said that launching struggle for irrigation facility and evolving a consensus among elected representatives is a collective responsibility and people like R L Jalappa should lead such movement from the front.
Former legislator K N Krishna Reddy, Bangarpet MLA M Narayanaswamy declared their support for the struggle. Parmashivaiah was felicitated on the occasion.
V Geeta of Janawadi Mahila Sanghatane, executive engineer of Urban Water Supply Board Venkatesh, Kotiganahalli Ramaiah, Vadaguru Nagaraj and others were present.
DH News Service