Even as the support is swelling for Monday’s bandh in Dakshina Kannada against the proposed Yettinahole project, the district industry bodies have urged the State government to hold a meeting with the people of the region before embarking on it.
The bandh has been called to coincide with the laying of the foundation stone for the project in Chikballapur, the constituency of Union Minister M. Veerappa Moily.
The district units of the BJP and JD(S) have also opposed the project.
The civic groups and many political entities here raised opposition to the project saying it would reduce the flow of water in Nethravati river – the only source of drinking water for the city and considered the “lifeline of the district” as many farmers too depend on it. The project aims at diverting more than 24 tmcft of water from the tributaries of Nethravati to the parched districts of the State.
Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) president Mohammed Ameen said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah should immediately intervene and stop the programme to lay the foundation stone.
Describing the decision to go ahead with the project as “unilateral” and “shocking”, Mr. Ameen drew the attention of the government to the district-wide bandh called by the farmers, industrialists and traders of the region on Monday.
He urged the government to convince the people of the region that the interests of the people would be protected, by holding a consultation with people’s representatives, trade bodies and experts, before taking up the project.
He hoped the feeling of the people would be respected. If the public sentiment was ignored, KCCI would support the bandh on Monday, he said.
Meanwhile, the bandh call is given by the Nethravati Rakshana Samithi, headed by former Congress MLA Vijayakumar Shetty.
Many organisations supporting the bandh criticised the Chief Minister for not holding consultations with the people on the project.