State will go ahead with Mekedatu water project: Minister

 The State government will go ahead with the Mekedatu drinking water project following the advice by legal experts that objection to the project by Tamil Nadu will not stand legal scrutiny, Water Resources Minister M B Patil said on Tuesday.

Speaking to the media here, Patil said he had recently spoken to senior counsel Fali Nariman who had stated that the project would not violate any water- sharing agreement. Patil said the government would invite tenders for preparing a detailed project report (DPR).

Mekedatu is near the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border. Since the late 1960s, Karnataka has been proposing to build a reservoir to store up to 50 tmc ft of water to cater to the drinking water needs of people in Bengaluru and surrounding places. 

Mini-hydel plant

Besides, a mini-hydel plant was also planned to generate power.

However, Tamil Nadu opposed the project stating that it would eat into its share of Cauvery water.

Patil said a technical committee had shortlisted 22 locations for the construction of the reservoir. 

The project will submerge nearly 2,500 acres of forest land.

Silt in TB dam 

Patil said the State government would soon invite global tenders for technical consultancy on removing silt in Tungabhadra dam.

He said silt had reduced the dam storage capacity by 32 tmc ft, which was 25 per cent of the original storage capacity. If the silt is spread across, then it would cover 66,000 acres. The government will consult experts on whether the silt should be actually removed or build a balancing reservoir, he added.

Global tenders

Global tenders will be invited for the rejuvenation of Arkavathi river. The previous tendering process had resulted in poor response, the minister said.

 The Yettinahole project intends to utilise 30 tmc ft of water, six tmc ft more than the present plan, he said.

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