Be assertive on Mekedatu reservoir, Opposition tells government

'Karnataka should discuss the issue and assert its right over River Cauvery and the proposed project'

Be assertive on Mekedatu reservoir, Opposition tells government

The BJP and the JD(S) legislators have unanimously demanded that the government should assert its right over the proposed construction of Mekedatu reservoir.

JD(S) MLA Y S V Datta said on Friday that the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly had debated the Mekedatu project and stoutly resisted Karnataka’s plans to build a reservoir in Mekedatu. Similarly, Karnataka should discuss the issue and assert its right over River Cauvery and the proposed project, he said.

His party leader H D Kumaraswamy said the government should not compromise on the Mekedatu project. It is better to raise loans and create assets instead of sanctioning a paltry sum for projects, he said.

At the Council, BJP MLC Ganesh Karnik, backed by Opposition leader K S Eshwarappa and Congress MLC V S Ugrappa, said the government needed to spell out its stand clearly and send a strong message to Tamil Nadu. Eshwarappa said if the Tamil Nadu government meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi to impress upon him that grave injustice has been done to them, then they, too, can lead a delegation to Delhi to clear the air.

Ugrappa said Tamil Nadu had called a bandh on March 28 over the issue. Karnataka should send a strong message to assert its stand, he added.

Responding to their concerns, Water Resources Minister M B Patil said the government was “prepared” for a legal battle or otherwise.

Patil said Tamil Nadu had filed an interlocutory application in the Supreme Court on November 18, 2014, in a civil appeal pending before the court filed in 2006-07.

“Back then, while filing our affidavit, we had said that Tamil Nadu’s fears of losing their share of water was unfound. We had specifically said the Shivanasamudra and Mekedatu reservoir proposals were purely for power generation and to supply drinking water to Bengaluru and nearby districts,” he recalled. The minister said that at present the government had called for an expression of interest for preparing a detailed project report for Mekedatu.

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