Implement Mekedatu project on war footing: JDS

Implement Mekedatu project on war footing: JDS

Taking exception to Tamil Nadu government's objection to the proposed Mekedatu dam project across Cauvery river, former chief minister and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy today said the Karnataka government should proceed with it on a war footing.

"When we have not even prepared DPR (Detailed Project Report) for Mekedatu project, Tamil Nadu has started raising objections," Kumaraswamy said in the Assembly while speaking about drinking water problem faced in Kolar, Chikkaballapura, Bengaluru Rural, Tumakuru and other districts.

Participating in the debate on the state budget, he said on this issue the state government should not relent at any cost and has to show its strong conviction.

"We have no objection in releasing Tamil Nadu's quota of 190 tmc ft (Cauvery water). We will give them their share of water, but we should at any cost go ahead with Mekedatu project," he added.

Even as this issue came up in the Karnataka legislature, Tamil Nadu Assembly today adopted a unanimous resolution urging Centre to rein in Karnataka from going ahead with its plan to build the dam across the inter-state river.

Kumaraswamy said the government has to allocate more funds for the Mekedatu protect to implement it on a war footing.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in his budget speech, presented on March 13, has proposed preparing a detailed project report for construction of balancing reservoir on the upstream of Mekedatu across Cauvery river.

He had said Global Expression of Interest had been invited, and a sum of Rs 25 crore provided in the coming fiscal.

Intervening, another JD(S) MLA Y S V Datta said when Tamil Nadu has stated it will not allow us to go ahead with the project, why shouldn't Karnataka legislators go ahead and pass a resolution stating that "we will go ahead with the project at any cost?"

"On the Hogenakkal project (in Tamil Nadu) we did not have any say, they did not take us into confidence," he said.

Kumaraswamy also suggested that going to Central government will not help in this matter.

"There will be no help from going to the Central government on this, don't expect anything from the Centre," he said.

Recently Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to advise Karnataka not to build new dams across the Cauvery at Mekedatu, saying it would affect his state.

Farmers' bodies have called for a Tamil Nadu bandh tomorrow over the issue to which several state political parties have expressed their support.

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