Residents of Bengaluru and from the other northern districts in Karnataka have declared bandh on 10 July to protest against the decision of the state government to divert water from the Sharavathi river to the city. The locals have started the initiative under the “Save Sharavathi campaign.”
Protest Against Unscientifically Lifting Water From Sharavathi
Nagarika Hitarakshaka Vedike member, Janardhan Pai said, “We are observing the ‘bandh’ in these districts on July 10. The state government has floated a most unscientific way of lifting water 450 km to Bengaluru despite our protest since the past 20 days.” Thousands of people registered their opposition to this activity by the Karnataka government of drawing water from Sharavathi river for meeting the water needs of Bengalureans by signing in favor of the Shivamogga Sharavathi Signature Campaign.
Renowned Kannada thinker and writer Banjagere Jayaprakash is also one those protesting against the decision. While voicing out his opposition Jayaprakash said, “I also live in Bengaluru, but taking water from Sharavathi river water 450 km away to Bengaluru is unscientific. The administration officers have no idea about the long term impact of this decision.”
Prior to taking the decision to call the bandh, the protestors earlier on submitted a plea to K A Dayananda, the Shivamogga Deputy Commissioner in which they expressed their displeasure over the decision.
Does The Govt. Have Hidden Agenda?
There are many people who believe that there is more to this decision than what is seen superficially. According to Jayaprakash, “Sharavathi water is used to generate hydroelectricity. We are getting cheap electricity. However, politicians have an agenda to gradually close the generators and buy electricity from private companies.”
He further added, “I urge the people of Bengaluru not to support this project. Bengalurians should instead opt for rainwater harvesting, water management, sewage treatment plants and demand for environment-friendly projects. I call for a decentralizing and a stop to the reckless growth of Bengaluru.”
In June this year, the state government floated a proposal of fulfilling the water needs of Bengaluru by taking water from Linganamakki reservoir. The Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka G Parameshwara even ordered concerned officials to come up with a detailed project report on the way the water can be brought from the reservoir.