news Monday, March 16, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | March 15, 2015 | 4.11 pm IST A coalition of farmers and other people from some parts of the state have given a two-day deadline to the state government to include the Yettinahole project in the budget. Although it is unclear whether such a move can be carried out, the Shashwata Neeravari Hoarata Samiti, a group to campaign for irrigation facilities, has said that it will intensify its agitation if the government does not meet its demands.  On Saturday, members of the samiti and religious leaders supporting them vented their ire against ministers of the ruling Congress government, MLAs and politicians from other parties and even journalists during a protest organized at Freedom Park in the state capital. The agitation has received support from leaders of all political parties, including Congress MLAs from the region. Congress MP from Kolar K H Muniyappa was not allowed to speak when he tried to address the gathering. Someone in the crowd even threw a bottle of water at him. Finally, he had to be escorted off the stage by the police.  Later, Social Welfare minister S Anjaneya met with the samiti and received a memorandum from the group. He assured them that he would meet the chief minister on Monday and work out a solution.  The samiti is demanding that the government make an allocation in the annual budget for the controversial Yettinahole project, which aims to provide drinking water from the tributaries of the Nethravati River to Chikballapura, Ramnagara, Kolar, Bengaluru Urban, Bengaluru Rural, Tumakuru and Chitradurga districts which face a serious shortage of drinking water. Past governments have projected it as a drinking water and irrigation project, but it has been strongly opposed by environmentalists, fisherfolk, farmers and the people of Dakshina Kannada and Hassan districts through which the Nethravati flows. They say that implementing the project would adversely affect the river thereby impacting agriculture, fishing and drinking water in the region.  On Saturday, leaders of the AAP, Janata Dal (Secular) and even Kolar MP K H Muniyappa was on the receiving end of the members of the samiti, who said that they wanted the agitation to be an apolitical one and objected to leaders of political parties from turning into into a platform to boost the image of their respective parties. JD (S) supreme H D Deve Gowda’s grandson Prajwal Revanna, who had turned up with members of the party was asked to withdraw his remarks that the JD (S) had extended support to the agitation when other political party leaders had gone home. Under fire from the members of the samiti, Prajwal apologized and said he respected their wishes. Tweet Follow @thenewsminute

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