'Kolar will not agree to any unscientific water project'

Chikkaballapur Shashvatha Neeravari Horata Samiti president R Anjaneya Reddy has demanded a review of the Yettinahole project and said that Kolar-Chikkaballapur districts didn’t want any project which doesn’t provide water. The people of Kolar and Dakshina Kannada should not become victims of political interests. The project should be purely based on scientific and technical issues, he said.

Addressing media persons after an interaction with various organisation leaders and senior advocates, organised by Karavali Jeevanadi Nethravathi Rakshana Samithi here on Sunday, Reddy, who has authored ‘Baridaayitu Bayaluseeme Odalu,’ a book on severe drinking water problem in Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts, said that Kolar district wouldn’t agree to any unscientific project.

A comprehensive study should be done on the availability of water, technology and time limit of the project. If there is not enough water, the government should think of an alternative project, he said. Meanwhile, he agreed to visit the River Yettinahole and also invited people from Dakshina Kannada to visit Kolar district.

Karavali Jeevanadi Nethravathi Rakshana Samithi president Vijay Kumar Shetty said that sharing of water, by convening a meeting of leaders of both the districts, was the responsibility of the State government. But the new government has no proper policy in this regard. The cost of the project, which was started in 2011, has already increased from Rs 8,300 crore to Rs 13,000 crore. Now, we have no way but to organise a public movement which is beyond party barriers. Senior Congress leader B Janardhan Poojary has already written a letter to the party head Sonia Gandhi, MP Nalin Kumar Kateel has also taken initiatives, which are good signs, he said.

CBI inquiry
Former minister Nagaraj Shetty said that without any political blame game, all political parties should oppose the Yettinahole project. Those who have filed petition against the project at National Green Tribunal, should even approach Supreme Court if they feel that judges are not understanding the seriousness of the issue at the tribunal. A CBI inquiry should be conducted into the tender formats, detailed project report (DPR) of the Yettinahole project, he said.

Expert opinions
Retired IAS officer V V Bhat said that three petitions had been filed against the project before the NGT. “We have already submitted a memorandum that the government should consider the whole Dakshina Kannada district as affected area and their opinion should be collected. Along with legal fight to stop this project, Yettinahole Jatha will be held soon to create awareness about the project and maintain integrity in river basin,” he said.

Supreme Court Advocate Shankar Bhat said that River Nethravathi had provided water and food security to the people of the district. “We need organised movement against the project. The NGT should order for a review of the project and it is a question of violation of human rights, and judges should understand the seriousness of the case. If there are any flaws in the tender process, FIR should be filed against the accused,” he said.

National Institute of Technology of Karnataka (Surathkal) Professor S G Mayya said that the DPR and feasibility report had cheated the people of Dakshina Kannada and Kolar at every step. This project will destroy the Western Ghats, which would affect the South India. The government may consider of giving two to five TMC of water to Kolar, but not through this project, he said.

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