Even as the State government is set to implement the Yettinahole project, there are those who feel that the project will not provide a permanent solution to the drinking water crisis in the nine districts of central Karnataka.
According to the Paramashivaiah report, 43 taluks of the nine districts, Bangalore Urban, Bangalore Rural, Tumkur, Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Hassan, Mandya, Ramanagaram and Chikmagalur, will get 122.08 tmcft of water after the first stage of the project is implemented.
Of the 122.08 tmcft of water, 83.07 tmcft is obtained from projects 1 and 3 of the report, 24.01 tmcft from the Yettinahole project and 15 tmcft from the Hemavathi flood flow canal.
The estimated cost of implementing the Yettinahole project is Rs. 8,329 crore to get 24.01 tmcft, and the implementation of Dr. Paramashivaiah’s report, including the construction of the State water grid canal and aqueduct, will cost Rs. 25,000 crore to get 122.08 tmcft of water.
It is said that 2,000 tmcft of rainwater in the Western Ghats flows into the Arabian Sea per year.
Of this, 122.08 tmcft of rainwater is being brought to the nine districts, including seven with dry land, for drinking water purpose.
Under the Yettinahole project, water is supplied through pipes instead of the water grid canal and this will not help in recharging groundwater.
Water is being lifted at three different places which requires 250-300 megawatt of power per year. As the State is facing shortage of power providing power for lifting 24 tmcft of water will be a problem.
But Dr. Paramashivaiah’s report suggests that water be brought under gravity through the water grid canal, which has a capacity of 40,000 cusecs, and this will also help recharge groundwater.
Dr. Paramashivaiah told The Hindu, “The Yettinahole project is technically not feasible and the government is wasting people’s money.” He said that it was not necessary to take up the Yettinahole project independently of his report.
President of Abhivrudhi Revolution Forum Kundaranahalli Ramesh said that “the Yettinahole project was eyewash.”
State secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxists) G.V. Sriram Reddy said that they are opposing the Yettinahole project as people of dry land districts, including Kolar, will not benefit.
Member of Parliament G.S. Basavaraju said, “I want the implementation of the Yettinahole project as well as the Paramashivaiah report.”
The former Minister T.B. Jayachandra said, “Yettinahole is the most appropriate project to supply drinking water in Tumkur, Hassan and Bangalore districts. It is technically viable.”
He said that studies are yet to be carried out on Dr. Paramashivaiah’s report from which whether the project is technically, financially, legally and environmentally feasible will be known.