NGT starts fresh hearing on Yettinahole project

NGT starts fresh hearing on Yettinahole project

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday started hearing afresh a plea challenging the legality of Karnataka government's Yetttinhole project for utilisation of 24 tmcft of water from Netravathi river for drinking water purpose.

A bench, headed by Jawad Rahim, started hearing the matter for the second time, as one of the expert-member Ranjan Chatterjee had retired on October 6, last year, before the pronouncement of the full verdict.

The tribunal had reserved its order on September 21, though it had given conditional approval to the project, saying the details of the judgement will be released subsequently. However, the new panel, also comprising Justice S P Wangdi and expert-member Nagin Nanda, decided to conduct re-hearing of the plea filed by enviromentalist K N Somashekhar.

Advocate Ritwik Dutta, representing the petitioner, contended that the forest clearance granted to the project is illegal as it is given without any regard to rules and regulations under the Forest Act. It will result in human and wildlife conflict and affect flora and fauna, as the project fell under the elephant corridor of the Western Ghat, he said.

The Karnataka government, represented by advocate Ashok Devaraj, had said the Yettinhole project is meant to provide drinking water to drought-hit Kolar, Chikkaballapur and Tumakuru districts. He had maintained the people in the three districtsare facing health problems due to excessive flouride content in ground water.

The project will utilise the water also for filling up 527 tanks during the rainy season to help farmers of the region for irrigation.

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