District in-charge Minister B. Ramanath Rai now favours a scientific study on the impact of the diversion of Netravati River.

Mr. Rai had opposed diversion of the river at Yettinahole at an industry body meet immediately after becoming minister. Two days later he said he is helpless as State government had already cleared the project.

On Thursday, he told presspersons that the Paramashivaiah Committee had opined that there will be no harm to the river because of diversion of water at the Yettinahole.

“But there is a need of a scientific study to prove this fact. This is what I feel,” said the Minister for Forest, Ecology and Environment. When asked if his department favoured such a study, Mr. Rai just smiled.

Niddodi

On Niddodi Thermal Power Project, Mr. Rai said the Congress did not authorise any party man to elicit views of villagers who fear losing land because of the project. He was commenting on the villagers gheraoing Congress activists led by All India Congress Committee member P.V. Mohan a few days ago.

Mr. Rai said proposal to set up the thermal power plant in Niddodi was moved in 2006.

“If the project causes trouble to environment it will certainly not be allowed,”

Mr. Rai said. There will be no forcible acquisition of land for the project, he said.

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