Mahadayi row: While all agitate, Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka opposes bandh
Mangaluru, July 30: This district of Karnataka refuses to observe bandh called by pro-Kannada organisations over Mahadayi tribunal verdict. The region presents a strong case to opt not to stand in solidarity with the protesting mass to get water.
Dakshina Kannada, a district located in southern part of Karnataka is functioning normally, like usual Saturdays. "While we were fighting to stop the Yettinahole diversion project that aims to provide water to parched Kolar and Chikkaballapur districts, no so called pro-Kannada organisations bothered to stand with our voice," hits out M G Hegde, a social activist from a coastal district.
People of this region have been vociferously opposing the implementation of Yettinahole river diversion project. The project will destroy the Western Ghats, an eco-sensitive geography as tunnels will be laid in the area.
Moreover, water will be diverted from other rivulets of Netravati, the life-line of Dakshina Kannada. Yettinahole too is a rivulet of Netravati and district will reel under water scarcity, if water is diverted, Hegde explained.
"We too have a right cause for our fight. But no politicians, pro-Kannada activists listening to our cry. We are not saying do not provide water to natives of Kolar and Chikkaballapur. There are alternative ways to provide water. We are not supporting Karnataka bandh over Mahadayi issue,'' Hegde told.
Dinesh Holla, the trustee of Sahyadri Sanchaya (registered body spearheading anti-Yettinahole campaign) speaking to OneIndia said, river diversion will leave massive damage to the environment and river itself.
"We are opposed to this Mahadayi bandh. When we were fighting to save Netravati River, no body joined hands and we will not now," he added.
Holla further delineated diverting water from Mahadayi will also effect some parts of Western Ghats. Goa will suffer the most due to this project. "Like we (Dakshina Kannada people), Goa is at the losing end."
Sahyadri Sanchaya has been organising trucking to Western Ghats. Since five years, water levels in the rivulets have been declining. At this time, diverting water, effect the rain patterns and water level will further decline leaving water rich Dakshina Kannada parched. "We oppose diversion and bandh call."
Another activist, Shashidhar Shetty of National Environment Care Federation said, these projects only benefit politicians and contractors. Kalasa-Banduri will cost Rs 450 crores, while Yettinahole costs Rs 13,000 crores. diversion will damage both river and environment. It will provide water as envisaged.
"We are not fools. We will not be get fooled by these politicians. We oppose this bandh as it will not yield results but waste a day," Shetty said.