Despite numerous pleas from organisations and MLAs to withdraw the Yettinahole drinking water project, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said on Sunday that the project will be implemented without harming the environment.

At a meeting in Mangalore, the Chief Minister said that he will soon present before the people and elected representatives of Dakshina Kannada the true picture of the project.

Mr. Siddaramaiah said that the fear that the project would result in water scarcity was unfound.

But the MLAs told Mr. Siddaramaiah that the Nethravati dries up in summer even without diversion.

Mangalore City South MLA J.R. Lobo urged the Chief Minister to conduct an environment impact study before taking up the project.

In Ujire, Mr. Siddaramaiah said: “It is a drinking water project, which will benefit Kolar, (Chickballapur and a few taluks in Tumkur)… It is a misconception that the project will divert Nethravati. No harm will be done as it is only rainwater that is being diverted.”

During the inauguration of Shri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara Hospital at Ujire, Belthangady MLA K. Vasant Bangera and Dharmasthala Dharmadhikari D. Veerendra Heggade told the Chief Minister that the diversion of rain water that feeds into the Nethravati would adversely affect the drinking water supply to the region, agriculture, fisheries and the lush forests of Western Ghats.

Earlier too, organisations such as Belthangady Taluk Hitarakshane Vedike had expressed reservations about the project.