After a district strike and numerous protests, the Nethravati Horatta Samiti will attempt to get all village-level, taluk-level and district-level panchayats to pass a resolution against the implementation of the controversial Yettinahole diversion project.
Addressing presspersons on Saturday, former MLA Vijay Kumar Shetty said that the process of getting resolutions from 203 gram panchayats, five taluk panchayats and the Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayat had started. “Belthangady taluk panchayat had already passed one at the start of the protests a year ago, while the Zilla panchayat had passed a resolution that is now in abeyance,” he said, adding that resolutions from constitutional bodies would further strengthen the resistance to the project.
Apart from the anticipated adverse environmental effects of the project, Mr. Shetty said diminishing supply of drinking and agriculture water to the district was another concern. “We will start a survey to catalogue existing water woes in the district. ,” he said.
Ravindranath Shanbhag, president of the Human Rights Protection Foundation, Udupi, joined the chorus against the project. In a talk on Saturday, he accused the government of distorting facts to ensure the “project was feasible”. “While even experts say only 10 tmc ft can be drawn from the tributaries, the government is claiming 24 TMC of water so that the cost per litre appears lower,” he said.
He believed that the execution of the project could see the project cost escalate to Rs. 24,000 crore from the current projection of Rs.12,000 crore.