Centre okays preliminary report on Mekedatu project

The Centre has cleared the pre-feasibility report of Mekedatu project with certain conditions, which means that the Karnataka government can go ahead with the preparation of a detailed project report.

The project — to build a balancing reservoir at Mekedatu on Cauvery river at an investment of around Rs 5,912 crore — was proposed by Karnataka. It not only helps to store excess water generated in the Cauvery basin in Karnataka, but also produces electricity.

The Central Water Commission (CWC) has given the green signal to Karnataka to prepare the detailed project report (DPR), which has to be submitted again to the commission, sources said. If the report is approved by the CWC, the state can approach the Ministry of Forest and Environment for clearance.

Tamil Nadu has been opposing the project, saying it will deny its share of water from the Cauvery river. It contends that building the project will lead to violation of the Supreme Court order on Cauvery water dispute. Karnataka maintains that the project falls within its territorial limits and, therefore, there is no legal impediment to construct the project across Cauvery.

Karnataka says that Tamil Nadu cannot object as long as there is no obstruction to the delivery of 177.25 tmc feet of water at the inter-state border in a normal year.

Karnataka had asked the Centre for an early clearance of the project. Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said a lot of time has already been wasted and that there is an urgent need to minimise the spillage of water from Cauvery to the sea.

Earlier Karnataka had asked the Centre for early clearance of the project. Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had said a lot of time has been wasted for the project and there is an urgent need to minimise the spillage of surplus river water from Cauvery to the sea.

"We have already released 346 tmc ft of water to Tamil Nadu. There is a spillage of over 200 tmc ft of surplus water into the sea. Had we saved this water, we could have used it next year in times of rainfall shortage," he said.

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Centre okays preliminary report on Mekedatu project

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