Yettinahole: Formation of expert committee opposed

Anti-Yettinahole Movement activists have opposed a recent order issued by the government in connection with the formation of a committee to study the possibilities of procurement of water from alternate sources to provide water to the plain region.

Following a meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on the integrated irrigation project for Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts on March 6, 2016, the state government’s Water Resource Development Organisation chief Engineer had submitted a list of experts for the formation of a committee to study the availability of alternate water sources, along with Yettinahole.

Accordingly, the government, in an order dated June 9, 2016, has formed a committee under the chairmanship of Central Water Commission former chairman A K Bajaj. Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) former chairman N Thyagaraj, Forest Department former secretary Yellappa Reddy and Hydraulics expert Ram Prasad from Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangaluru, are the members of the committee.

Managing Director of Karnataka Neeravari Nigama/Yettinahole Mattu Bhadra Meldande Yojane Nigama Niyamitha, will be the member secretary of the committee, according to the order issued by Water Resource Department Under Secretary K S Nagaraj.

The government has asked the committee to submit a report within six months on the availability of water in Yettinahole integrated drinking water project, water allotted as per Krishna Tribunal order, water available in Mekedatu project, availability of treated water in the project of rejuvenation of lakes, availability of water as per the study report submitted by the expert committee headed by G S Paramashivaiah, availability of water in Sharavathi and Aghanashini diversion project and in ‘other’ sources.

The study report should be based on an elaborate study towards providing a permanent irrigation project to the drought hit areas of Kolar and Chikkaballapur, the order stated.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, environmentalist and Sahyadri Samrakshana Sanchaya Convener Dinesh Holla said the hidden agenda of the government is to draw water from other streams of Netravathi, namely Elaneeru, Bandaje, Mrithyunjaya, Sunala, Neriya, Kapila, Kempuhole and
Kumaradhara.

If water is lifted from these streams in the Western Ghats, the water flow into the rivers will eventually decrease and the rivers will go dry. It is impossible to get 24 tmcft of water from these sources. The Yettinahole project is an outcome of the ‘experts’, who still believe in Paramashivaiah report. If water is drawn from all these sources, the district may have to face a serious water crisis. Already, the flow of rivers has been affected due to a number of hydro electric projects, which are implemented by constructing dams, disturbing the natural flow of rivers, he claimed.

Netravathi Samyukta Samrakshana Samiti President and former MLA Vijay Kumar Shetty told Deccan Herald that no one is against providing water to the plain region. But the government should implement the alternate project without affecting Netravathi river and harming the district.

Shetty charged that vote bank politics is behind the Yettinahole project. The elected representatives have been neglecting the welfare of the people from the district to get votes from other districts. The people of the district are being cheated. Already, there are rumours of elected representatives, contractors and officials misusing lot of money, with the implementation of Yettinahole project. One must remember that power  is not permanent, Shetty added.

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