Karnataka CM urges T.N. counterpart not to oppose Mekedatu project

B.S. Yediyurappa requests a meeting with M.K. Stalin to respond to apprehensions

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa has written to his Tamil Nadu counterpart M.K. Stalin urging not to oppose the Mekedatu project in Ramanagaram district and suggested a bilateral meeting to discuss each other’s apprehensions to clear all doubts.

In an effort to resolve issues surrounding the long-pending balancing reservoir-cum-drinking water project, Mr. Yediyurappa argued in his letter that the project would ‘immensely benefit both the States’, and not adversely affect the interests of the farming community in Tamil Nadu.

“…It would be in the interest of all concerned and to have a better relationship between the state of Karnataka and state of Tamil Nadu, if the Tamil Nadu government in the right spirit would not oppose implementation of the project,” he wrote in the letter addressed to Mr. Stalin on July 3. He further said, “In order to address issues, if any, it is suggested that a bilateral meeting could also be held in the presence of officials concerned to clear all apprehensions.”

On the status of the project, Mr. Yediyurappa pointed out that while Tamil Nadu has filed a Miscellaneous Application in the Supreme Court against the project, Karnataka has sought approval from the Centre for Terms of Reference to conduct an Environmental Impact Assessment.

Mr. Yediyurappa pointed to several projects planned by Tamil Nadu, including two hydropower projects and some in the main river below Mettur, and said, “The government of Tamil Nadu has neither entered into any kind of negotiations nor secured consent from the Government of Karnataka for the above projects in the Cauvery basin.”

The Chief Minister stated that the Mekedatu project was conceived with the objective of regulating the flow of water to Tamil Nadu as stipulated in the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) and thereafter modified by the Supreme Court to generate 400 megawatt of power. The project also aims to additionally utilise 4.75 TMC of water for meeting drinking and domestic water needs of Karnataka, including the whole of Bengaluru, “as awarded by the Supreme Court in its judgment dated February 16, 2018”.

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