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Saturday, February 01, 2014 6:41:51 PM (IST)  

Timely letter or political strategy? Yettinahole project launch put off

Timely letter or political strategy? Yettinahole project launch put off

Shreyas H S
For Daijiworld.com

Mangalore, Feb 1: It is quite surprising that the foundation stone laying ceremony for the controversial Yettinahole project, which was scheduled for Friday January 31 at Chikkaballapur district, has been postponed citing the delay of the department of environment in issuing a ‘clearance certificate’ to the state government.

This astonishing and sudden step was taken a day after a letter (a copy of which is available with Daijiworld) was sent to the union minister for environment and forest, who also holds the petroleum portfolio, Dr M Veerappa Moily, by the South Asian Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) located at Delhi and Pune on January 30. The letter questioned the credibility of the ceremony for the Yettinahole project that has not been cleared by the forest and environment department till date.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who reportedly spoke on behalf of Veerappa Moily over the project at the minister’s home turf Chikkaballapur on January 31 said, "The foundation stone laying ceremony has been postponed conceding to the delay in acquiring the clearance certificate from the environment department." But the chief minister has not announced a new date for the  ceremony.

Moreover, Siddaramaiah’s tone signaled his acceptance of the letter and also justifications of a few points mentioned in the letter by SANDRP.  The letter delineated the ‘choice of place’ (Chikkaballapur)  to lay the foundation stone by the minister as politically motivated to mobilize the votes ahead of Lok Sabha elections. In response to SANDRP's contention, the CM insisted that it had nothing to do with the elections. "People of Chikkaballapur are the beneficiaries of the project and it would be relevant and valid to lay the foundation stone here rather than in Dakshina Kannada," he explained.

The letter also pointed out that neither Sakleshpur, the point of diversion of the river, nor Dakshina Kannada, which would be most affected by the project, were chosen for the ceremony as both these places have been witness to strong protests against the project.

However, despite stiff opposition all these days from the people of Dakshina Kannada and a few activists across the country, the state government remained evasive over obtaining a clearance certificate from the department concerned.  The state government claimed that this was a drinking water project; hence it does not come under the purview of the Environment Impact Assessment Notification (EIA) 2006 further amended in 2009.

Speaking to Daijiworld from Pune, Parineeti Dandekar, associate coordinator of SANDRP who conducted a holistic study of the project, visiting places and analyzing the project report, said,  “I welcome the move by the Karnataka government, for understanding the need of obtaining the clearance certificate.”

Further speaking about the project, she emphasized that the project should go through a clearance check by the environment and forest department and if it fails, the project should be scraped for the ill effects it would have on the region.

"We had written a letter to the ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) on September 10, 2013, and as a result the department summoned the government of Karnataka seeking reply to the complaint put forth by the SANDRP. Karnataka government in reply to the MoEF stated that the EIA Notification 2006 and clearance from forest department do not come into the picture, since the project outlined was purely a ‘drinking water’ project. However, the reply by the Karnataka government to the MoEF had not been forwarded to the complainant (SNDRP) till now," she added.


Political Motivation?

Union Minister Veerappa Moily being the custodian of MoEF all these days, refrained from commenting on the issue of clearance certificate from his department. It can be observed from the current political wave in the district that this unexpected move from the state government could be a political gimmick with a view to seek the attention of the people of DK.

A credible source from the district Congress unit said, "Veerappa Moily has lost hope of coming to power from his current constituency. People of Chikkaballapur are disappointed with the performance of the minister."

He further added, "Although, in the district, Moily’s son Harsha Moily has been projected as a possible candidate, it now seems to be a political strategy by Moily senior to study the trend and further push himself to contest for the Lok Sabha elections from DK."

The sudden move of raising the issue of environment clearance also suggests that the skewed Yettinahole project is probably seen as a thorn in the flesh to Moily's chances, if indeed talks of his contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Mangalore become a reality.

Was it only the letter that made a difference or was politics involved in the process? The answer lies hidden in the folds of time that would unravel soon, probably before the general elections.


 

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Comments on this article
Rakesh Dsouza, Mangalore, Dubai
Sunday, February 02, 2014

This Veerappa Moily will not hesitate to silently sell entire Mangalore for his Political Gain. This person should not win the elections.

We wish educated Indian voters will give teach a good lesson for this person.

Frank, Tulu Nadu
Sunday, February 02, 2014

Tulu Nadu people are considered to be intelligent. But both konkanas and tuluvas are not shrewd enough. While malyalis, kannadigas, telugas maratas and many others fought for a state tuluvas and konkanas of tulu nadu slept. Once the ettinahole project is done, then it will become another kaveri between tulunadu and Kannadigas. Kannadigas always have vested interests in these kind of projects. If tulu Nadu is made separate state, these problems do not arise. Wake up foolish Tuluvas and Konakanas. Wake up from your slumber

Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru
Sunday, February 02, 2014

Frank, Tulu Nadu

Konkanis have got a state. Only Tuluvas did not get.

KRPrabhu, Bangalore
Sunday, February 02, 2014

First, Tulu leaders(though it is not only their responsibility) get the recognition for Tulu language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.Fight for separate will come only next!!!

Vincent Rodrigues, Katapadi/Bangalore
Saturday, February 01, 2014

Good the project launch is put off since the public was opposing it.All the best.Thanq.

Vishal, Mangalore
Saturday, February 01, 2014

Mr. Veerappa Moily and Mr. Oscar Fernandes - the two honorable ministers representing our districts! How nice it would have been had some other ministers been elected by us. This duo has done nothing worth mentioning for the people other than feathering their own nests. What a pity!

David, Mangalore
Saturday, February 01, 2014

Corrupt Moily with Election Gimmick

Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru
Saturday, February 01, 2014

Can congi agents read this twice :

"Veerappa Moily has lost hope of coming to power from his current constituency. People of Chiikaballapur are disappointed with the performance of the minister."

I had told this many times. Congis will win max 5-6 seats.

Surendra Poojari, Mangalore
Saturday, February 01, 2014

5-6 seats? Are you sure Dinesh?? I doubt whether they are able to win so many...Moily has to lose..so his son if he is contesting from Mangalore. I feel only JP Hegde will win. Other seats are highly doubtful.

Dinesh Poojary, Kundapura/Bengaluru
Sunday, February 02, 2014

Even useless jobs hegde will lose this time. Can u list out his achievements?

Surendra Poojari, Mangalore
Sunday, February 02, 2014

Achievements are not the only criteria to win. Winning depends on opposition candidate and popularity. Sometimes the best person loses..and bad wins..We had high hopes from JP Hegde but can't list out any major achievements. He too is like our congress MP's sitting in Delhi...We need to get rid of all these useless MP's.

Ramesh Poojary, Bangalore
Sunday, February 02, 2014

INC might loose all existing 9 seats except Muniyappa, Kharge and Dharam Singh. Kharge might win by slender margin and Dharam might win if Ashok Kheney contests and devides Lingaytah votes. JDS may end up with 3-5 seats INC end up 3-5 seats. Rest Jai Namo!!

Surendra Poojari, Mangalore
Saturday, February 01, 2014

This guy should not be welcomed in Mangalore or Dakshin Kannada. His contribution is big Zero for his people.

Santhosh, Mangalore
Saturday, February 01, 2014

Our honorable Minister is Very famous for laying foundation stones. One stone is still@ car street flower market, which was laid when he was CM '

Langoolacharya, Belman/Washington,DC
Saturday, February 01, 2014

That foundation stone is bird shelter now...we have plenty of these stones in Karkala where birds sit and sh#t....

This fellow is famous for his lies...everybody knows about it including his own partymen...

...JH...

Allen, Mangalore
Saturday, February 01, 2014

Yettinahole project, 12 gas cylinders per year, withdrawal of AAdhaar card, etc. are all election gimmicks just to fool the public! After elections if Congress comes to power (which is a big question mark), all these things will be reversed one by one over a period of time!

Roshan Patrao, Mangalore
Saturday, February 01, 2014

This is the ploy played by Veerappa Moily to save his face. Yettinahole project takes off or not (before or after the elections), this corrupt hypocrite and his party should be defeated in the general elections at any cost. He is a bane to the civilised society and shame to Dakshina Kannada.

CONRAD JOHN TAURO, SHIRVA/UDUPI/DUBAI
Saturday, February 01, 2014

Simple policy of politics.

Vasant Raj, Mangalore / Abudhabi
Saturday, February 01, 2014

Election gimmick...

 
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