Yediyurappa directs officials to prepare Mekedatu project

·3-min read

action plan, TN says it is against law (Eds: Adds TN's reaction) Bengaluru, Jul 7 (PTI) With Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa directing officials to prepare an action plan for the Mekedatu dam project the Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday said the initiative went against the law and a Supreme Court verdict.

Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said here on Wednesday that Yediyurappa will hold a meeting with legal and technical experts on preparing the action plan for the project, this weekend.

'There is only a miscellaneous application pending in the Supreme Court with regard to the Mekedatu scheme.The Chief Minister is going to convene a meeting this weekend. We will discuss with legal experts about the necessary approvals required and how to proceed further,' Bommai told reporters.

Emphasising that the project is important for the state, he said it will play a key role in Cauvery water management in future. This will be a parallel dam to supply water during a water crisis.

On his return from Delhi after meeting Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Tamil Nadu Water Resources Minister Duraimurugan told reporters in Chennai on Wednesday that Karnataka's bid to build the dam went against the law and Supreme Court judgment in this regard.

'Shekhawat said Centre's permission for the Detailed Project Report for Mekedatu project alone is not sufficient to build a dam and there are several other clearances that are needed,' Duraimurugan said, adding, the Central Minister assured protecting Tamil Nadu's interests.

He expressed confidence that the neighbouring state could not go ahead with its dam initiative without the concurrence of the riparian state, Tamil Nadu.

Asked on Yediyurappa's firm stand that the dam would be built, he said it was surprising and regrettable.

Such a view comes against the backdrop of Chief Minister M K Stalin's recent meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also after explaining in detail in a letter to Karnataka Chief Minister that the project should be dropped, he said.

The union minister also assured setting up a tribunal vis-a-vis a dam in Karnataka across the Markandeya river, the Tamil Nadu Minister said.

The Mekedatu project has become a bone of contention between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, which often flags the issue of Cauvery water sharing whenever there is shortage in rainfall in the catchment areas of the river, which originates in Kodagu district in Karnataka and courses through Tamil Nadu.

Recently, Yediyurappa wrote to Stalin, urging him not to oppose the project as it will benefit both states.

In response, Stalin requested Yediyurappa not to pursue the Mekedatu project, saying that it would 'impound and divert' the uncontrolled water flow due to Tamil Nadu from Kabini sub-basin, the catchment area below Krishnarajasagar Dam, and also from Simsha, Arkavathy and Suvarnavathi sub- basins, besides other small streams.

To a question on when the monsoon session of the Karnataka legislature would be held, Bommai said it had not yet been decided, but he would discuss it with Yediyurappa.

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