Yettinahole project is not transparent, says Prof S G Mayya

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mayyaMangalore, Aug 17, 2013: Alleging the State government’s ambitious Yettinahole project as a project of flaws, Prof S G Mayya from the Department of Water Resource Engineering at NIT-K said that the very title of the project gives wrong connotation, by misleading the people of Netravati river basin.

He was delivering a talk on ‘Diversion of Netravati River water’ (a case of inter basin water transfer) at a programme organised by Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industries at KCCI hall on Saturday. Quoting the latest title of the project – ‘Scheme for diversion of flood water from Sakaleshpura (west) to Kolar/Chikballapura districts (east)’ as not transparent, the professor said the project title deliberately avoids the name ‘Netravati’ to keep the people in dark.

Explaining how people are deceived by the government he said, “When the project was first proposed, the main objective of the project was said to be to supply drinking water to Kolar and Chikballapur districts, while the project in reality gives last priority to these districts.

According to the list of benefits of the project as mentioned in the feasible report prepared by Mumbai based EI Technology Pvt Ltd, the priority is given to supplying water to Hassan, Chikmagalur, Chitradurga, Devanahalli industrial area, Tumkur, Madhugiri and other districts , while Chikballapur and Kolar are given the last priority,” Prof Mayya said.

Further, he elaborated that though the title of the project is presented as a ‘drinking water scheme for Kolar and Chikballapur,’ the project report mentions of providing water to other purposes including to meet industrial needs, fill the tanks and recharge the underground water.

The term ‘drinking water’ is used only to avoid notification from the environment ministry. The present project which has taken clue from Paramashivaiah report, is equally devastating as the latter, he said.

Future consequences

The professor warnedabout the long term consequences the project might lead to, and said apart from damage caused to the bio-diversity, the project would also reduce rainfall in future.

With the regions in Netravati river basin already facing water scarcity during summer, the reduction in rainfall, would deprive Nethravati basin as well as plateau region from water resource.

“The project is built on a wrong notion that there is excess water in river basin. No scientific study has been conducted on demand analysis to prove the excess of water in the river basin,” he said.

Further, he said that if the water flow in river basin is 87 per cent during monsoon, it is reduced to 12 per cent from October to December and diminishes to one per cent from January to May. If the basin has 90 to 100 days of rain, the region witnesses shortage of water in the remaining 180 days.

It is for the same reason, the farmers in this region have stopped growing the third crop. Why not the government which speaks of providing water to dry districts, take up projects to meet the water needs of people in Netravati basin, during summer, he questioned.

Mayya also regretted for the State not having a forum to represent and handle the issue. “The only way is to file a PIL questioning the project with the High Court or the Supreme Court.”

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