SC to hear TN's Mekedatu project plea next week

SC to hear TN's Mekedatu project plea next week

The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear a plea by the Tamil Nadu government for a direction to restrain Karnataka from going ahead with “unauthorised” Mekedatu project across inter-state Cauvery river.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph said the application would be considered next week before an appropriate bench.

The plea for urgent hearing was made by Tamil Nadu’s advocate general Vijay Narayan and counsel G Umapathy, who claimed the permission was granted by the Central government in “utter disregard” of the apex court’s judgement in Cauvery river dispute.

The matter would be heard by a bench presided over by Justice A M Khanwilkar.

In its application filed on December 1, the Tamil Nadu government urged the court to restrain Karnataka and Cauvery Neervari Nigam, from proceeding with the preparation of detailed project report (DPR) pertaining to the construction of a reservoir at Mekedatu. It contended that the status quo has
to be maintained till its genuine and justifiable objections were not decided.

The Rs 5912 crore-drinking water project-cum-reservoir that got a green signal from the Central Water Commission on November 22, proposes to store 67.16 tmcft and generate of 400 MW power.

The Tamil Nadu government maintained that the “unilateral action of Karnataka” has caused “serious apprehension among the people of the Tamil Nadu as it would affect the livelihood of lakhs of farmers, who depend on the Cauvery waters.”

The project is contrary to the final decision of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal decision and the February 16 judgement of the apex court on the issue, it claimed.

“The proposed reservoir would result in impounding the flows in the intermediate catchment below KRS and Kabini reservoirs and Biligundlu in the common border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. It would have a cascading effect on the daily and monthly inflows during the crucial months of June to September,” the application stated.

The Tamil Nadu also claimed that in 2017-2018, Karnataka did not even release 3 tmcft of water to meet in-basin drinking water requirements during summer.

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