State to go ahead with Mekedatu water project

The State government has dropped its plans to construct a hydel power plant at Mekedatu for now, but it will go ahead with a drinking water project by constructing a reservoir at the site.

Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited (CNNL) has been appointed the nodal agency for executing the drinking water project at Mekedatu, on the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border.

 The project includes construction of a reservoir with a total water storage capacity of around 50 tmc ft. In its earlier proposal, the government had planned to set up the reservoir, besides mini-hydel plant(s), with the objective of supplying drinking water to Bengaluru and surrounding areas, and generate power. 

However, the Expression of Interest (EoI)-cum-prequalification of global consultants invited by CNNL limits only to the construction of the reservoir. 

According to Water Resources Minister M B Patil, once the construction of the reservoir is completed, it can store water up to 50 tmc ft making it the largest reservoir in the Karnataka side of the Cauvery basin.

Tamil Nadu had been opposing the project stating that it would eat into its share of Cauvery waters. However, Fali S Nariman, the head of Karnataka’s legal and technical advisory team on Cauvery basin projects, had advised the government to go ahead with the project. The cost estimates of the projects will be known in the DPR.

 According to the EoI, the selected global consultant will have to submit reports on 11 different aspects, including water availability, study of hydrology of the Carvery basin, particularly at Mekedatu, study of the catchment areas, preparation of a comprehensive DPR, including submission of a cost estimate, condition of all the water-bearing and cross-drainage structures across the river and environmental impact.

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