During a review meeting in Mysuru district recently, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had ordered a feasibility study on the river inter-linking project. It is believed that the project would provide Karnataka with nearly 5 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) of water, which can be supplied as potable water to the villages of Hunsur Taluk, the Bangalore Mirror reports.
Upon hearing rumors of government plans to erect a pick-up dam across the river in Virajpet Taluk, the people of Kodagu opposed the project and halted the Irrigation Department team from conducting a survey.
The opposition was relayed to the Karnataka government by Madikeri MLA KG Bopiah, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The Bangalore Mirror states that Bopiah demanded Water Resource Minister MB Patil to scrap the project, noting that the project involves the construction of a 20- to 25-meter high dam which will submerge almost half of the forest-rich South Kodagu. He also mentioned that it is because of the previously mentioned reason that the previous government had dropped the project.
Bopiah expressed, “People of Kodagu have strongly opposed the project and government must drop it immediately.”
He further stated, “The people of Kodagu have already sacrificed a lot. Having given out the Cauvery river to the rest of the state, we (Kodavas) in fact have no more potable water for ourselves. Yet we remain silent. But the government should not mistake it and go ahead with a project like this which would spell disaster in the region.
For the prosperity of the state, we continue to pray for good rains. But do not overburden us with these kinds of projects.”
In response, Minister Patil clarified that the dam will also quench the thirst of the Kodagu people as the government plans on supplying part of the stored 5 TMC of water to the district. He further elucidated that the pick-up dam will only be 3 to 4 meters in height and would not submerge private land or cause ecological damage. According to the Minister, the government would decide on whether to push through with the project after the feasibility report has been submitted.