"The protest against the project is unnecessary as it will not affect the people of Dakshina Kannada district. I request the people to call off their protest," Siddaramaiah said after laying the foundation stone.
A large number of protesters wore black badges and raised slogans against government's decision to give green signal to the project.
People of Dakshina Kannada are apprehensive about the project, meant to supply water to water-starved districts of Hassan, Bangalore Rural, and Chikkaballapur by diverting water of Netravati river in Dakshina Kannada, as they feared it would affect their district.
Large number of protesters wore black badges and raised slogans against the govt
Siddaramaiah said the project is very important as it is expected to bring 400 TMC of water and solve the crisis faced by people living in Bangalore Rural, Chikkaballapur and Hassan regions.
"There is no water resource near Kolar and Chikkaballapur, hence this project is important. People of this region are being afflicted with diseases due to water contaminated with fluoride and arsenic," he said.
Widespread protests were held in Dakshina Kannada district today against the project. Union Minister M Veerappa Moily, who represents Chikkaballapur Lok Sabha constituency, ruled out any question of reaping political gains out of the project. He said the project is expected to be completed in five years, adding, it is not meant for irrigation purpose.