Yettinahole project does not involve diversion of Nethravathi, Kumaradhara rivers: CM

Yettinahole project does not involve diversion of Nethravathi, Kumaradhara rivers: CM

Submitted by Rashmi on Mon, 2016-12-26 19:09 Bengaluru: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah ruled out reviewing or halting work on the Rs12912-crore Yettinahole drinking water project, envisaged to provide water to Kolar, Chikkaballapur, Tumakuru and other districts in the state.Addressing a meeting attended by elected representatives, environmentalists and experts from Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts on Monday, the CM said, “The meeting has been convened to remove misgivings, apprehensions or any other fear in the minds of the people who are opposing the project."Allaying fears over possible water scarcity, the CM said that "adequate measures would be taken to address the drinking water needs of the coastal regions".Clarifying that the Yettinahole project did not include diversion of west-flowing Nethravathi or Kumaradhara rivers, the CM said that only a small portion of water would be drawn from the Western Ghats without compromising the eco-system of the region."The ground water level in the Kolar, Chikkaballapur, and Tumakuru region is precariously and over 68 lakh people in seven districts are facing acute drinking water problem" he said.Informing that the project had been taken up in the previous BJP government, he said that "The administrative approval, preparation of the Detailed Project Report and invitation of tenders took place during last government. We are only taking it forward," he said.Water Resources Minister M B Patil, who spoke at the meeting, said, "The Yettinahole Drinking water project is being implemented vigorously and works are being taken up on war-footing. The project work is being executed with utmost transparency."Clarifying on the question of expected yield of about 24 tmc of water in the Western Ghats, Patil said reputed institutions such as "Central Water Commission, The National Institute of Hydrology had confirmed the availability of water for the project"."It is purely a drinking water project and not a irrigation project," he said.Ramaprasad, a retired professor from the IISc, who also spoke on the occasion, said the eco-system in the region, would not be hurt in any manner by diverting 24 tmc of water from Yettinahole streams."The shortfall of rain this year caused a depletion of over 140 tmc of water and it has not caused any ecological damage in the Western Ghats region," said Ramaprasad.Reacting to the severe drinking water shortage in the coastal districts, the former IISc professor said that it could be tackled by storing about 15 tmc of water by harnessing west-flowing rivers in the Western Ghats.Earlier, BJP leader and Lok Sabha member Nalin Kumar Kateel, former ministers Kota Srinivas Poojary,  former MLAs Vijayakumar Shetty appealed to the chief minister to suspend the execution of the Yettinahole project till environmental and other issues were resolved.Forest minister Ramanath Rai, Food and Civil supplies minister U T Khader, MLAs Abhayachandra and others were also present on the occasion.