Yettinahole Statistics Manipulated: Expert
It was not just the scientific survey, even statistics were manipulated to project that 24 tmcft of water was available for diversion from Yettinahole to meet the requirements of Kolar and Chikballapur districts, rights activist and environmentalist Dr Ravindranath Shanbhag said on Saturday.
Dr Shanbhag said EI Technologies Private Ltd, in its feasibility report, had projected that 10 tmcft of water was available. However, the Karnataka Neeravari Nigam Limited (KNNL), a nodal agency for implementing major irrigation projects, tweaked the feasibility report to project the availability of water at 24 tmcft. The figures of average annual rainfall in the area were also manipulated to show that the catchment area around Yettinahole received an average rainfall of 6,200 mm.
However according to data compiled by the Department of Water Resources, the average annual rainfall is between 3,000 mm to 4,000 mm. On how KNNL had arrived at the figure of 6,200 mm, he said they had attributed the source of statistics to one Private Planters Association. Instead of considering a place like Kadumane near Yettinahole to test the flow of water, Bantwal, approximately 68 km from Yettinahole, was considered as a testing point for Netravathi’s flow of water.
“Is this a scientific study?” he questioned, while delivering a talk on ‘Ettinahole Problem, Is There Any Way Out?’ at the School of Social Work, Roshni Nilaya. Contrary to the observations in the Detailed Project Report that the source is free from the tribunal, the reservoirs planned in Palar, North and South Pennar basins attract the provisions of the 1892 agreement whose validity was upheld by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal. “Presently the state has challenged the tribunal’s contention in the Supreme Court and the case is pending disposal,” he said.
Eight dams planned in the Western Ghats, if damaged during seismic activity, would wipe out four taluks and would be seven times worse than the Koyna tragedy, he warned. The flood waters have not been subjected to a public hearing or Environment Impact Assessment.
With the annual maintenance of `12,912.36 crore, the project is estimated to cost `1,000 cr. The water diverted would cost between 60 to 70 paisa per litre. “It will be cheaper to get Bisleri delivered to your doorstep,’’ he said.