Will respond correctly to TN’s opposition to discuss Mekedatu: Bommai

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said the State government would “promptly and correctly” respond to Tamil Nadus opposition to discussion on the Mekedatu project in Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) meet on June 17.

His statement comes a day after the Tamil Nadu government moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the CWMA restraining any discussion on Karnatakas Detailed Project Report (DPR) on Mekedatu balancing reservoir project at its meeting.

“It is a miscellaneous application, you should try to understand about different types of applications in the Supreme Court. They have to issue notice to us, and we will promptly and correctly respond to it,” Bommai told reporters in response to a question.

“The Tamil Nadu government doesnt have any jurisdiction to direct the government of India on what to do and what not to. The CWMA is a body that has been constituted on the orders of the Supreme Court. It alone has the authority to give clearance to any projects and regarding the tribunal orders…it (TNs plea) stands the scrutiny of the court,” he said.

Contending that the CWMA does not have powers to discuss the Mekedatu project issue, as it is sub judice, TNs Water Resources Minister Duraimurugan had said the State would vehemently oppose any discussion on the contentious project at the meeting in New Delhi on June 17.

The State has been necessitated to move the apex court as a discussion on the DPR on the Mekedatu project was included in the agenda of the 16th meeting of the authority, he had said.

Meanwhile, State Congress President D K Shivakumar requested Chief Minister Bommai to lead an all-party delegation to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Mekedatu issue, and urged the State government to fulfil its commitment to complete the project.

“I appeal, let the Chief Minister lead an all- party delegation to meet the Prime Minister to get environmental clearance for the project. The government (State) has earmarked Rs 1,000 crore in the budget for it, also there is no bar from the Supreme Court. We will support the government,” he told reporters.

The project is to stop extra water from flowing into the sea, Shivakumar, who was Water Resources Minister during the Congress regime, said, “Mekedatu will benefit Tamil Nadu more at the cost of Karnatakas land and money. They (TN) are not at any loss, let them not oppose for the sake of politics or make it a prestige issue.” Shivakumar, earlier this year, had led a massive pada yatra (foot march) by Congress party from Mekedatu to Bengaluru demanding early implementation of the project.

Mekedatu is a multi-purpose (drinking and power) project proposed by Karnataka, which involves building a balancing reservoir near Kanakapura in Ramanagara district.

Neighbouring Tamil Nadu has been opposing the project, raising apprehensions that the State would be affected if the project takes shape.

The project, once completed, is aimed at ensuring drinking water to Bengaluru and neighbouring areas (4.75 TMC) and also can generate 400 MW power, and the estimated cost of the project is Rs 9,000 crore.

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