Monday, September 28, 2009

16 Rivers in 3 Coastal Districts to be Interlinked

Bangalore: 16 Rivers in 3 Coastal Districts to be Interlinked
From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network

BANGALORE, Aug 20: Vehemently opposing the proposed diversion scheme of Netravathy river, the lifeline of coastal Dakshina Kannada district, Karnataka Coastal Development Authority Chairman B Nagaraj Shetty said an ambitious plan for interlinking all the 16 rivers in three costal districts was under preparation.

The former fisheries minister felt the Nethravathy diversion scheme, mooted for providing drinking water supply and irrigation facilities to drought prone districts such as Kolar, Tumkur, Chikballapur and Bangalore Rural districts, would be detrimental to the coastal region.

However, he said the Authority would study reports submitted by A G Kodgi, K C Reddy and G S Paramashivaiah on interlinking of rivers and diversion of the Netravathi river project.

``We will come out with a possible and feasible report on interlinking of 13 rivers of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi districts and three rivers of Uttara Kannada district,’’he said.

Shetty also promised to hold consultations with irrigation experts on the issue and prepare a report in a year.

Former Union Minister Suresh Prabhu had submitted a report on interlinking of rivers to the then Vajapayee government, he said.

Asked about the investment required for interlining of rivers in coastal districts, the former minister said the A G Kodgi report, which was submitted to the State government about four years ago had estimated the cost to be around Rs 6,000 crore.

With the escalation of costs of all material, Shetty said the cost might be in the region of Rs 10,000 crore for taking up the project

Interlinking of rivers would reduce flow water into the sea as well as waste of water. The project would also help setting up of hydro-power plants and promoting fishing activity in the coastal region.

He felt the Netravathi river diversion project as "unscientific" and said the people of the costal districts have been opposing it since it would reduce water flow to the region.

An expert committee headed by Paramashivaiah submitted the report in 2001 on "A Scheme for Gravity Diversion of Netravathi River to the Drought Affected Regions of Karnataka."

The Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) has prepared satellite survey maps of the command area. The Netravathi diversion project is intended to divert water from the rain-fed west-flowing Netravathi towards east.

According to the plan, dams would be built across nine tributaries of the Netravathi.

It may be recalled that the Dharmadhikari of Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala, Dr D Veerendra Heggade, has been one the most prominent critics of the Nethravathy diversion scheme as being ``most unscientific and not acceptable to the people of the coastal region.’

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