Mekedatu: SC notice to Centre, Karnataka over TN plea

The View of spot identified by Karnataka Government for the project of construction of balancing reservoir cum drinking water at Mekedatu in Ramanagara District. DH File Photo

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Union government and Karnataka to file a response within four weeks on a plea by Tamil Nadu challenging a nod for preparing a detailed report for Mekedatu balancing reservoir across Cauvery river.

A bench presided over by Justice A M Khanwilkar also sought a reply on another plea by Tamil Nadu for a direction to the Union government to appoint an independent and full-time chairman of the Cauvery Water Management Authority as per a scheme approved by the top court.

During the hearing, Karnataka's Advocate General Uday Holla contended the application by Tamil Nadu was pre-mature as it was only a permission to prepare a detailed project report, subject to conditions, and the views of the co-basin states have to be taken.

"So it is only a detailed project report. No final decision has been taken," the bench said.

Union Government, represented by advocate, W A Qadri said the project could be subject to orders of the apex court. He, however, sought time to file his response.

Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for the Tamil Nadu government, submitted if the Centre was willing to give such an assurance, it should be recorded by the court. He said the state did not want any fait accompli.

The court finally decided to seek a reply from the Centre and the Karnataka government on applications by Tamil Nadu.

The Tamil Nadu government was aggrieved with the order issued on November 22 with regard to Mekedatu balancing reservoir project by Karnataka.

It has sought a direction to restrain Karnataka from going ahead with "unauthorised" Mekedatu project.

Besides, it filed a plea in Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Union government to appoint an independent person as chairman of the Cauvery Water Management Authority and full-time members as per a scheme approved by the top court.

This would be in accordance with Clause 3(2)(a) of the Cauvery Water Management Scheme, 2018 established under Section 6A of Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 constituted to give effect to the decision of the tribunal and the apex court's judgment of February 16 and the orders passed on May 18, it said.

The Cauvery Water Management Scheme has been notified by the Centre on June 1.

The Ministry of Water Resources, however, had on July 7 issued orders allowing S Masood Husain, chairman of the Central Water Commission (CWC) to hold additional charge as head of the authority.

"The decision of the Director, Project Appraisal (South), CWC conveying to the instrumentalities of state of Karnataka to proceed with the preparation of detailed project report for the proposed Mekedatu balancing reservoir cum drinking water project without properly considering the genuine and justifiable objections of the applicant state is
wholly unjust," it said.

The application also stated the decision was in total violation and utter disregard to the adjudication rendered by the tribunal as modified by this court.

The Tamil Nadu government also filed a fresh plea before the court seeking contempt action against senior officers of the Centre and the Karnataka government for going ahead with Mekedatu project.

On Wednesday, the top court, however, adjourned the hearing on contempt plea as it decided to examine two other applications.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry

Comments:

Mekedatu: SC notice to Centre, Karnataka over TN plea

0 comments

Write the first review for this !