Pipe dream: State rules out Sharavathi water for B'luru

Yediyurappa said there were no plans to divert Sharavathi water to quench Bengaluru's thirst. DH File Photo

Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Tuesday ruled out implementing the controversial Sharavathi diversion project to address the water requirement of Bengaluru city.

Speaking to reporters in Sagar in the district on Tuesday evening, Yediyurappa said there was no proposal before his government to divert Sharavathi water to quench Bengaluru’s thirst.

Besides, the state government is convinced that the proposed project — aimed at drawing water from the Linganamakki dam in Sagar taluk to address the drinking water crisis of Bengaluru — is not feasible. So, it would not be implemented under any circumstances, he said.

The previous Congress-JD(S) coalition government had directed the Water Resources Department to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) of the plan to bring water from Sharavathi river to the state capital through pipes. As per the plan, water from Linganamakki reservoir across Sharavathi river — which is located in Shivamogga district, about 300 km from Bengaluru — was to be pumped to Yagachi dam in Hassan district and then piped to Bengaluru. The plan was to draw 10 tmcft of water in the first phase. The project was estimated to cost a whopping Rs 12,000 crore.

The Sharavthi diversion project had incurred the wrath of people in Shivamogga district. Many associations had launched a ‘Save Sharavathi’ campaign and staged a series of protests across the district. Leaders of all the three major political parties — BJP, Congress and JD(S) — had opposed the project. Several organisations had called for a Shivamogga bandh on July 10, which received an overwhelming response.

DH Insight, published on July 23, 2019, had explained in depth how the diversion would be a death knell for Sharavathi. In an earlier article on June 17, 2019, DH had highlighted why the plan to supply Linganamakki water to Bengaluru was senseless, quoting experts from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.

Noted Kannada novelist Na D’Souza, who led the ‘Save Sharavathi’ campaign, appreciated the state government’s move. “It is a big relief for the people of Shivamogga and Uttara Kannada districts. I welcome the decision of Chief Minister Yediyurappa, who hails from Shivamogga district, and wish he sticks to the decision. It is the victory of the people’s campaign and I acknowledge the support of DH through a comprehensive multi-media report on the issue.”

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