Yettinahole: 'Clearances not obtained before starting'

Yettinahole: 'Clearances not obtained before starting'

Paschima Ghatta Samrakshana Horata Vedike, Bengaluru, on Friday alleged that the State government has violated Forest Protection Act, Environment Conservation Act, Wildlife Protection Act and related acts, by failing to obtain environment clearances before carrying on with Yettinahole project.

Addressing mediapersons, the forum member K N Somashekhar said that there are 10 steps in stage one clearance and all of them have not been fulfilled by the government. Still, it has carried on with the project. Stage two clearance is also obtained in the same fashion, he charged.

According to Madhav Gadgil and Dr K Kasturirangan reports, the project area falls in sensitive zone where a lot of rare species of Western Ghats have taken shelter. But the government has deliberately neglected this fact.The project also clearly violates the Water Policy of 2012 of the Union government. The Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Ltd (KNNL) has been submitting the manipulated data to the Green Tribunal. The KNNL has uploaded tampered documents on Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) website, he claimed.

The government has not carried out the environment impact assessment before starting the project. The interim order by the National Green Tribunal has also been violated by the government, Somashekhar alleged.

He said that the government has been misleading people by furnishing false information in the detailed project report. The project has been portrayed as the drinking water project. But, in fact, it is an irrigation project which intends to fill 527 canals. Only 2.81 tmcft of water will be available to Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts. According to a government report itself, as many as 1,713 lift irrigation projects worth Rs 2.25 lakh crore have failed.

“Then, what is the purpose of carrying out Yettinahole project?” he questioned. Alleging the government of pressurising the officials to provide false documents, he said that in a letter written to Additional Chief Secretary of Government of India on March 29, 2014, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) has said that the project plan of Yettinahole is not in adherence with the Forest Act and 100 acres of forest land would be affected.

But the same PCCF has written another letter on July 22, 2015, recommending the Yettinahole project, which shows how the higher officials are being misused, he charged. The Vedike, the petitioner in the case, had demanded an affidavit from a higher official of KNNL, saying the work will not be presumed. Accordingly, an affidavit was submitted by the chief engineer of the Nigam. But the Nigam has violated it, he claimed.

 Legal adviser for Yettinahole Virodhi Horata Prince Isac, C Yathiraju and Nagesh Angirasa were present.

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