'TN's opposition to hydro projects baseless'

Karnataka has claimed before the Supreme Court that Tamil Nadu’s plea opposing Shivanasamudra and Mekedatu hydro power projects was “misconceived, obstructive and baseless”, as the Cauvery Tribunal’s final decision does not bar such initiatives.

In an affidavit, the State maintained that it was incorrect to say the final order of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal, passed on February 5, 2007, and notified on February 19, 2013, would become difficult to implement in view of Karnataka going ahead with two projects.

It also pointed out that the projects would not violate the tribunal’s “spirit of the award” even though a clarification application was still pending before the tribunal for distribution of river water between the states. The State government, in its response also claimed that the Mekedatu project would cause no submergence in the lower riparian state. “If there is still any dispute, the supervisory authority set up on May 22, 2013, is empowered to consider it,” the government said.

The Shivanasamudra and Mekedatu projects are at a distance of 60 km and 5 km, respectively, from the inter-state boundary and thus “indisputably” within Karnataka and not in “common-reach boundary” as claimed by Tamil Nadu, said the response filed by chief engineer (Inter-State Waters).

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