Palaniswami seeks Modi’s intervention on Mekedatu issue

Edappadi K Palaniswami - The Federal
Edappadi K Palaniswami. File Photo/PTI

The Tamil Nadu government on Monday sought the Centres urgent intervention on the Mekedatu reservoir issue, saying Karnataka seeking environmental clearance for the project was in violation of an award of the Cauvery Water disputes tribunal and a Supreme Court judgment.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister K Palaniswami requested him to direct the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to “reject outright”
Karnataka’s proposal.

Palaniswami sought Modis “urgent personal intervention” to deny permission to the proposal of Karnataka’s Cauvery Neeravari Nigama Niyamita seeking environmental clearance for the Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir and Drinking water project.

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The neighbouring state seeking such clearance was in “utter violation” of the final order of the Cauvery water disputes tribunal and a judgment of the apex court in February
2018, he said.

Palaniswami said the Tamil Nadu government has been conveying its strong objections and been urging the Centre to reject outright and return the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Mekedatu project.

The proposed project was not in conformity with the final order of the tribunal and the top court judgment, since it is not a designated reservoir for the release of water from
Karnataka to Tamil Nadu in terms of the tribunals final order as modified by the apex court, he said.

Karnataka has also not obtained prior concurrence of Tamil Nadu and other co-basin states, he added.

Cauvery being a deficit basin, construction of any such project in any place by upper riparian states would drastically affect the lower riparian states in getting due
share of water, he said.

The chief minister said he mentioned these facts in a memorandum submitted to Modi during their meeting in Delhi on June 15.

He requested the prime minister to direct the environment ministry to issue instructions to authorities concerned not to consider Karnataka’s proposal for grant of terms of reference to obtain environmental clearance for the project.

“Further, the Ministry of Jal Shakthi may be directed to advise the central water commission to reject outright and return the DPR of the Mekedatu balancing reservoir project of Karnataka and also not to accord any clearance to the above project without obtaining the prior concurrence of government of Tamil Nadu and of other co-basin states,” he added.

Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy had recently met Union Water Resources Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and sought early nod for the proposed Rs 5,912-crore reservoir in Mekedatu on the Cauvery river.

Kumaraswamy has said there was no need to seek consent from Tamil Nadu for the proposed project.

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