TN opposes panel's decision to discuss Mekedatu plan

Karnataka has sought permission from central agencies concerned for Environmental Clearance (EC) for Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir and Drinking Water Project across Cauvery river. DH file photo

Terming the move as “clear violation” of the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and the Supreme Court, Tamil Nadu on Wednesday opposed a Central committee’s decision to discuss Karnataka’s proposal to build a dam in Mekedatu across River Cauvery.

Karnataka has sought permission from central agencies concerned for Environmental Clearance (EC) for Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir and Drinking Water Project across Cauvery river. Tamil Nadu says Karnataka’s proposal was illegal and goes against the very order of the CWDT and the Supreme Court on sharing of the water in Cauvery.

Tamil Nadu, a lower riparian state, insists that Karnataka, the upper riparian state, should consult it and other stakeholders before designing any project. However, Karnataka says the project was aimed at providing drinking water to Bengaluru and will have no impact on the release of water to Tamil Nadu.

Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami recorded his objections on the project ahead of the July 19 meeting of the Expert Appraisal Committee for River Valley and Hydro-electric Projects in separate, but identical, letters to Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar and Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

Pointing out that he had earlier written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the matter, Palaniswami said the action of the committee to include the proposal of Karnataka for discussion in the meeting is a violation of the Notified Final Order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and the judgment of the Supreme Court.

“Tamil Nadu has been conveying its strong objections and has been urging the Centre to reject outright Karnataka’s proposed Mekedatu Project, as it violates the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal as modified by the Supreme Court,” the Chief Minister said in his letter.

“Cauvery basin being a deficit basin, construction of Mekedatu or any project in any place by upper riparian state will drastically affect the lower riparian state in getting its due share of water,” he added.

The chief minister also reminded the ministers that the Tamil Nadu government has filed an interlocutory application before the Supreme Court against Karnataka’s proposal and also a contempt petition against all concerned and asked them to desist from entertaining the proposal of Karnataka.

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