Mangaluru: The outrage of people in the undivided Dakshina Kannada district against the Yettinahole project was evident today, as thousands gathered in the protest and rasta roko called by Netravati Nadi Samrakshana Okkoota against the project at Mahaveer Junction, at Pumpwell here.
Addressing the protestors, Convener of the Okkoota Dr Niranjan Rai said, “Since it was our representatives who propelled fire by mulling for the implementation of the project, it is now the necessity of the people here to douse the flames”.
Slamming the government he said that it was misleading people of both regions. “The government is least bothered to hear our pleas. Our cries have fallen on deaf ears. However, we shall continue to fight until the project is called off,” he said adding that the Okkoota was not against supplying water to the needy, but “not at the cost of the lives of people in the coastal belt”.
Condemning Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, fellow party member and Convener of Karavali Jeevanadi Rakshana Samiti Vijay Kumar Shetty stated that though he and a panel of activists approached the CM four times seeking cancellation of the project in the past, the latter did not pay heed to their requests. He called on the youth to break free from the shackles of religion, political parties and other barriers and fight in unison against the diversion project.
He warned the government that the undivided DK district has enough resources to form a separate state ‘Tulunadu’, if the government doesn’t call quits to the project at the earliest.
Social activist MG Hegde cautioned that it was high time that every individual in the undivided DK district must strive hard to protect river Netravati as its diversion would mean nothing but the killing of fishermen and farmers here.
The seer of Kemaru Math threatened to picket at the Vidhana Soudha next week if the appeal evoked no response immediately.
The protestors were detained by the police by 12.30 pm and traffic was restored to normal.
District MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, Mangaluru South MLA JR Lobo, MLC Ganesh Karnik, Odiyooru and Gurupur seers, Fr Wilson Menezes, FJB Crasta, representative of Muslim Central Committee and social activist Dinesh Holla were present among the protestors.