The Kalasa-Banduri Horata Samanvaya Samiti has sought an answer from the State government on why it is not being as committed to the implementation of the Kalasa-Banduri Nala Project as it is towards the Yettinahole diversion project.
Addressing presspersons here on Thursday, samiti conveners Vikas Soppin, Vijay Kulkarni, Mahesh Pattar and Amrut Ijari complained that different yardsticks were being applied, although both schemes were aimed at providing drinking water.
Mr. Soppin said that within six months of coming to power, the Congress government had set aside Rs. 1,000 crore for the Yettinahole Project and earmarked Rs. 50 crore for preparing a Detailed Feasibility Report on the G.S. Paramashivaiah Committee Report.
The Karnataka Niravari Nigam Ltd. (KNNL) was exempted from the Environment Impact Assessment of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) by projecting the ‘Yettinahole Project’ as a drinking water project. “In fact, as per the amendments in 2009, the EIA notification keeps drinking water projects out of the Expert Appraisal Committee’s ambit,” he said.
The Yettinahole drinking water and hydel power project requires large forest area. “As per a government circular issued in 2009, carrying out foundation laying works before initiating development works in forest area is not permitted.
A Right to Information application revealed that KNNL had applied for permission from the MoEF for the Yettinahole project, while the MoEF said that since it was a drinking water project, EIA laws did not apply. Why can’t the Kalasa-Banduri project also be permitted in this manner?”
Mr. Kulkarni said that although the Central Water Commission had permitted the Kalasa-Banduri Nala Project, which was better than the Yettinahole project as it was economical and would not have an adverse impact on the environment, the State government was not showing same commitment in implementing it.
Mr. Pattar and Mr. Ijari said that the samiti would launch a campaign from December 15 to 25 to sensitise the people of the four districts who would be benefitted from the Kalasa-Banduri Nala Project and also “wake up the elected representatives”.
Mr. Soppin added that on December 25, a convention would be held at Belgaum and a decision taken on the next course of action there.
MoEF has said that EIA laws do not apply to drinking water projects: samiti ‘We will launch a campaign from Dec. 15 to sensitise would-be beneficiaries of the project’
MoEF has said that EIA laws do not apply to drinking water projects: samiti
‘We will launch a campaign from Dec. 15 to sensitise would-be beneficiaries of the project’