Mekedatu row: TN cries 'conspiracy' over water flow, will

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implement it, says Karnataka (combines related stories) Chennai/Bengaluru,Jul 12 (PTI) The row over the Mekedatu dam escalated on Monday, with Tamil Nadu alleging a 'conspiracy' to hinder water from river Cauvery while upper riparian state Karnataka reaffirmed its determination to go ahead with the balancing reservoir project.

DMK-ruled Tamil Nadu sought to put up a united front on the issue, as Chief Minister MK Stalin convened an all party meeting which resolved no construction can be taken up in Mekedatu without the prior consent of lower riparian states.

It decided to convey the same, among others, to the Centre.

Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai reffirmed that the state will not stop the Mekedatu drinking water project across Cauvery river, with the opposition Congress stating it would stand with the government if it performs the ground-breaking ceremony.

Addressing the all-party meeting, attended among others by the AIADMK, Congress and BJP, Stalin alleged the Mekedatu dam initiative was a 'conspiracy' to hinder water flow to Tamil Nadu.

The meeting condemned attempts by Karnataka to build the dam and urged the union government to not accord sanction for the proposal.

Karnataka's claim that the proposed dam was aimed at meeting the drinking water needs of Bengaluru city and for electricity generation is 'not true and it is to deceive us,' he said, adding Cauvery is a livelihood right for Tamil Nadu.

'Not only Karnataka, Tamil Nadu also has full right on Cauvery river,' he said.

The Mekedatu dam initiative is a 'conspiracy' to block flow of water to Tamil Nadu from catchment areas below Kabini, Krishnarajasagar, sub-basins of rivers Shimsha, Arkavathi, Suvarnavathy and other small rivers, Stalin alleged.

Since such areas do not have reservoirs, water reached Tamil Nadu without any hindrance and the new dam proposal was only to scuttle free flow, he said.

Hours after the all-party meet in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka Home Minister Bommai asserted his state would go ahead with the project.

'We have already submitted the Detailed Project Report to the Central Water Commission. This project is related to utilising the additional water for drinking purpose.' 'Karnataka has every right to commission this project,' he said in a statement in Bengaluru.

'There is no reason to stop the Mekedatu drinking water project. We will certainly implement it,' he added.

According to Bommai, already an order related to the Cauvery water sharing has come, which has given guidelines on how and when the Cauvery water should be released for Tamil Nadu.

Congress' Karnataka unit president D K Shivakumar extended his support to the project, saying it comes under his Kanakapura assembly constituency, 'Let the government do the 'Bhumi Puja' for Mekedatu project tomorrow itself, we stand with the government,' he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, responding to Bommai's remarks, Tamil Nadu Water Resources Minister Durai Murugan said the Supreme Court has made it clear the quantum of water Karnataka should release to Tamil Nadu and from which points.

'By announcing to construct a dam by blocking the water flowing to Tamil Nadu... amounts to ignoring the top court order,' he said in a statement in Chennai.

He hinted Tamil Nadu has the right to legal recourse in the matter. PTI SA VGN GMS BN BALA BN BALA

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