Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Saturday assured Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy that he would convene a meeting of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu chief ministers to explore an amicable solution to the Mekedatu project row.
The chief minister called on Shekhawat here to request him to expedite the approval of the project. The minister told him that he would speak to the prime minister on the issue and convene the meeting of chief minister at the earliest.
Kumaraswamy and his Tamil Nadu counterpart E K Palaniswami, who were here to attend the Niti Aayog meeting, met Shekhawat separately. While Kumaraswamy requested him to give early approval for the project, the Tamil Nadu chief minister requested him to reject the proposal.
The Central Water Commission (CWC), a nodal agency under the Ministry of Water Resources, had cleared the pre-feasibility report submitted by the Karnataka government and asked the state to prepare a detailed project report (DPR). Karnataka prepared the DPR and sent it to the CWC for final approval.
The CWC had sent the DPR submitted by Karnataka to Tamil Nadu for its opinion. Tamil Nadu has not submitted its opinion so far. After getting the comments from Tamil Nadu, the Centre would take further action on the project, Shekhawat informed the Karnataka chief minister, sources told DH.
Karnataka proposes to build a balancing reservoir across Cauvery river at Mekedatu near Kanakapura in Ramnagar district. The project proposes to store 66 tmcft of excess water generated in Cauvery basin.
The government also plans to utilise 16 tmcft from the reservoir to provide drinking water to Ramanagar, Kanakapura and some towns in Bengaluru Rural district.
Tamil Nadu has been opposing the project, saying that it would deny its share of water from Cauvery river. Tamil Nadu also argued that the project would lead to violation of the Supreme Court order on Cauvery water dispute.
When Kumaraswamy requested the Centre to approve Mahadayi project, Shekhawat said he would call the chief minister’s of all Mahadayi basin states - Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra to resolve the dispute on sharing of river water soon. On the request to notify the Mahadayi Dispute Tribunal award and Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal award, the Union minister said he would convene the meeting of officials concerned on notifying the tribunal award.