Yettinahole protesters block NH for 2 hours

Seers join stir against project; animals brought in to show need for water in region

The Sahyadri Samrakshana Okkoota and various other organisations staged a huge protest at Pumpwell Circle on Thursday and also blocked the National Highway for about two hours.

The protesters, who opposed the Yettinahole project, insisted that the project be scrapped.

Alleging that the State government is showing a stepmotherly attitude towards the people of Dakshina Kannada, Okkoota convenor Dr Niranjan Rai said that the movement against the project will continue till the government withdraws it. “If the government thinks that the people of the district will keep quiet, it is highly mistaken. It will only attract bigger and more intense movements,” he warned.

Former legislator Vijaykumar Shetty, who participated in the protest, said that the discussion carried out by the State ministers regarding Yettinahole was only an eye-washer. “There is no compromise in the matter of the natural resources of the district,” he said.

“The negligence of the State government towards the people of Dakshina Kannada is shocking, although the district generates the highest amount of revenue in the State, as compared to other districts. The government is adamant about continuing the project, which is only leading the people of the district to demand a separate Tulunadu state,” he added.

‘Opposition sidelined’

“The government has been working on the project, forgoing the judgment of the Green Tribunal, and the move is condemnable. The Zilla Panchayat, the Mangaluru City Corporation and many gram panchayats have passed resolutions against the Yettinahole project. It is high time that the chief minister awakens to the fact that both, the people and elected representatives of the district, are against the implementation of the project,” explained the former legislator, and added that the movement against the project was being carried out irrespective of religion, caste and parties of the participants.

Odiyoor mutt seer Sri Gurudevananda said that the forced interruption to the natural flow of River Nethravathi would prove equivalent of attracting the ire of Nature. “Seers of all mutts will join hands to oppose the project in the days to come,” he promised, and urged the government to drop the Yettinahole project.

Kemaru mutt seer Isha Vittaladasa Swami said that the government had been ‘dumping’ dangerous projects in the district.

‘Many more’
Environmentalist Dinesh Holla said that many projects whose implementation would have serious repercussions on the district and detrimental to the Western Ghats were on the path of implementation. “The government is eyeing River Kumaradhara and River Kapila, to draw water. The plans will be opposed at any cost,” warned Holla.

A resolution was passed by the protesters, to urge the government to scrap the Yettinahole project and to initiate an alternative – such as rainwater harvesting – to provide water to the arid districts and plane region.

­The resolution said, “The Yettinahole project is not practical as there is lesser than one tmc water in the project site, while the government plans to draw 24 tmc water to provide to the plane regions.”

The National Highway was blocked by the protesters for two hours near the Pumpwell Circle. The traffic was diverted due to the protest and vehicles were forced to ply on alternative routes. The police detained and later released the protesters.

MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, MLA J R Lobo, MLC Ganesh Karnik, Deputy Mayor Purushottam Chitrapur, environmentalist M G Hegde, Gurupur Vajradehi mutt seer Sri Rajashekharananda Swamiji and Mangalore Diocese PRO Fr William Menezes were among those who took part in the protest.

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