Minister for Health and Family Welfare U.T. Khader has said the implementation of the Yettinahole project that entails diversion of Netravati River – the lifeline of the Dakshina Kannada – to supply water to parched districts of the State cannot be stopped. Kolar is one of the districts that will be benefitted by the project. Mr. Khader is a Kolar district in-charge Minister.
“There is nothing we can do now. Allocation was made in the last budget (for detailed project report) and it was approved by the Assembly. We have continued it by allocating money. The 13 MLAs from the area cannot oppose this. This is the reality. The train has already left. We cannot stop it,” Mr. Khader said.
Mr. Khader was among the Congress leaders from Dakshina Kannada to oppose the project before he assumed office as a Minister.
With the allocation of more funds for the project in the State Budget, Mr. Khader had to face several questions on the issue. Environmentalists and several organisations from the Dakshina Kannada oppose the project.
Mr. Khader said that the project should have been stopped when “our man” (D.V. Sadananda Gowda) was the Chief Minister. “Mr. Sadananda Gowda had all the powers. But he thought otherwise and allocated funds for the project.” “We need to continue it. The project cannot be shelved,” he said.
Moreover, Mr. Khader said the political representatives from the 10 water parched districts have taken the issue seriously.
“If we 13 legislators oppose it, there are 120 others who will corner us.” Mr. Khader said the political representatives from the 10 districts say they only intend to divert a part of Netravati River that otherwise goes waste as it drains into the sea.
There have been many occasions when Mr. Khader has had heated debates with Union Minister of State for MSME K.H. Muniyappa on this issue.