Yettinahole project not a solution to water crisis: IISc. scientist

T.V. Ramachandra, scientist, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, during a session at Alva’s Nudisiri-2016, in Moodbidri on Sunday.— Photo: Special ArrangementSupplied  

Saying that the Yettinahole river diversion project is not a feasible idea, T.V. Ramachandra, coordinator of Energy and Wetlands Research Group, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, said on Sunday that rejuvenation of tanks in the parched South Karnataka districts using an integrated approach will be the only solution to mitigate the water crisis.

Speaking on the topic ‘environment’ at a session on the last day of Alva’s Nudisiri in Moodbidri, he suggested decentralised water harvesting through tanks, ponds, lakes, restoration of water sources, increasing the green cover and recharging the groundwater table as solutions to mitigate water scarcity.

He said about 15 tmcft of water could be tapped from rain for supply to Bengaluru areas, and hence Netravati water will not be required.

Mr. Ramachandra repeatedly questioned the government’s decision to spend Rs. 13,000 crore on the Yettinahole project, which would yield only 0.85 tmcft of water for diversion. Instead, the government could rejuvenate about 4,600 tanks in the Kolar belt for ensuring water, he said.

“Some elected representatives have become capitalists. They want to keep issues like water scarcity in parched districts alive for their own benefit,” he alleged.

The scientist also questioned some statements that about 500 tmcft of water would be available in the Netravati for diversion to parched districts. It will be just 170 tmcft to 180 tmcft, he said.

Mr. Ramachandra said that the green cover in Bengaluru has dropped from 70 per cent in 1983 to about 20 per cent now, with the garden city now becoming the “city of froth”.

An IISc report, prepared by a team of researchers led by Mr. Ramachandra, has questioned the total runoff yield from the catchment areas of the Yettinahole project. estimated at 24 tmcft by Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Ltd. and at 22 tmcft by Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. In contrast, the IISc report has estimated the runoff yield at 9.55 tmcft. Of this, the requirement for domestic purposes, crops and livestock would be 5.84 tmcft and 2.86 tmcft for ecosystem sustenence, leaving only 0.85 tmcft for diversion.

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Printable version | May 15, 2021 12:17:45 AM |

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