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Mekedatu project will be disastrous for environment, adivasis: Medha Patkar

Medha said the Mekedatu dam should not be viewed from the spectrum of the river dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka
Last Updated : 14 January 2022, 18:27 IST
Last Updated : 14 January 2022, 18:27 IST

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Activist Medha Patkar on Friday described the proposal to build a dam at Mekedatu as a disastrous project that will wreak havoc on Kaveri river, and urged the government to heed the voice of the people instead of pitching them against the people of the neighbouring states.

She was speaking at a press conference organised by the Karnataka Nelajala Parisara Rakshana Samiti here on Friday. “We need environmental impact assessment as well as a social impact assessment to understand the adverse effect of the project on the adivasis (tribals) who depend on the rivers and the forests for their livelihood,” she said.

Medha said the Mekedatu dam should not be viewed from the spectrum of the river dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. “By questioning the dam, we are questioning the exploitation and destruction of resources. The inequity and injustice in the use of natural resources should stop. The resources should be used to support the life and livelihood of people and not the builders, contractors and politicians,” she added.

Actor Chethan, member of the Samiti, questioned the decision to spend Rs 9,000 crore on a “destructive” project and said the government should instead focus on proven solutions to meet water needs.

“The lakes built by Kempegowda are rotting or dying but the government is busy building his statues. Saving the lakes, harvesting the rainwater and recycling the used water are real and sustainable solutions that need funding,” he said.

Activist Naganna Gowda from Mandya said efforts were being made to garner the support of farmers by promising more water for irrigation. “The farmers should realise that these promises are false. At the same time, the dam is being portrayed as a project to score over Tamil Nadu and get more Kaveri water. Soon, politicians will start pitting one district against another as climate change hits availability of water,” he added.

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Published 14 January 2022, 16:54 IST

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