Activists in Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka have planned a series of agitations from September 1 to press the government to stop the Nethravati diversion project (Yettinahole project). Activists have alleged that the state government has begun the project forcibly brushing aside the opposition to it.
- The project has commenced in Hassan district of Karnataka.
Major allegations against the Project:
- The government has taken up the works by violating Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act, 1976.
- Before the work was taken up, land acquisition process wasn’t taken up, land losers were not given compensation, and environmental hearing was not conducted.
- The project would dry the Nethravathi, the lifeline of Dakshina Kannada, in the coming days.
- The state government is following a dual policy, as in one hand it is stating that forest should be preserved for elephant corridor and on the other hand it is ravaging the forest for diversion of a water source.
- The Yettinahole project envisages to pump about 24 tmc ft of water from Yettinahole, a tributary of River Netravathi.
- It involves construction of dams and reservoir, pumping of water, flowing of water with gravitational force and finally filling of lakes.
- As per the project, 24 tmc ft of water from Ettinahole and a couple of other tributaries of Netravathi River will be drawn by constructing minor dams.
- The project envisages diverting the water to drought prone Chikkaballapur, Kolur, Tumkur and Bangalore rural districts.
- The total cost of the project is Rs 8,323 crore.
The Yettinahole Project has come in for very strong opposition from environmental groups, who argue that the diversion of river basins from their natural course of opposite direction is fundamentally unscientific and would greatly disturb the very pattern of landscape ecology. This will result in problems like uneven percolation pattern, seepage problems, opening up of ground water sources in higher altitudes etc.
News Item Compiled by Apoorv Kumar Chaudhary.