Mekedatu: Karnataka,TN not India-Pak, says Kumarsawamy

Mekedatu: Karnataka,TN not India-Pak, says Kumarsawamy

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy on Friday made a fervent appeal to Tamil Nadu government and the political parties to allow construction of a reservoir at Mekedatu across River Cauvery and not to make it a “prestige issue” as it would help none.

Noting that Tamil Nadu and Karnataka were not India and Pakistan, Kumaraswamy said the two states should stop quarrelling with each other and find a permanent solution to problems relating to the sharing of Cauvery water. He said the Karnataka government began working on the Detailed Project Report (DPR) only after getting necessary permission from the departments concerned in the Union government. “We are not India and Pakistan. We are all brothers and sisters. If the reservoir is constructed, Karnataka will use it only to store the water and not utilise it. Whenever we get a good monsoon, we have always released water (to Tamil Nadu) and this year, we have released over 390 tmc ft of water, much more than that awarded to it,” the chief minister told reporters at the airport here on his arrival from Bengaluru.

The chief minister was here to call on Siddaganga seer Shivakumara Swami, who is undergoing treatment at a city hospital. 

Kumaraswamy said he was ready to meet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and request him not to oppose the
project. “Please don’t make this a prestige issue. I make this request to everyone in Tamil Nadu and I am asking this like a brother,” he told reporters. Maintaining that several tmc ft of water was going waste to the sea, Kumaraswamy said if the reservoir at Mekedatu comes up, Karnataka would be able to save more water and release it to Tamil Nadu.

“After a point, even the farmers in Tamil Nadu are not able to use and it goes to the sea. Why waste water?” he said.

The chief minister said he had requested the Union Water Resources Ministry to convene a meeting between leaders of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to find a lasting solution to all problems. “I want to stress again that we are not enemies. Let us sit across and find solutions,” he said. To a question on Tamil Nadu facing drought, he shot back, “Even Karnataka faces the safe problem and this year alone, the state lost crops worth Rs 20,000 crore,” he said.

While Karnataka wants a reservoir constructed in Mekedatu across Cauvery, Tamil Nadu opposes it, saying it will harm the interests of the state. The two states have been locked in a bitter war over sharing of Cauvery water for the past several decades.