Stalin urges Yediyurappa to drop Mekedatu dam project

Says the proposed project will affect the livelihood of farmers in his state; wants ‘good relations’ with Govt of Karnataka

TN Chief Minister MK Stalin said the proposed Mekedatu project will ‘impound and divert’ the flow of Cauvery water into the state. (Representational image)

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Sunday wrote to his Karnataka counterpart BS Yediyurappa, ‘strongly’ urging him not to pursue the Mekedatu project

“I wish to convey my good wishes to the people of Karnataka and earnestly hope that good co-operation and relationship would prevail between the two States,” he wrote.

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“Karnataka should abandon the Mekedatu dam project. The livelihood of Tamil Nadu farmers will be affected if the Mekedatu dam is built. Farmers in Tamil Nadu will never accept this. The Government of Tamil Nadu wants good relations with the Government of Karnataka. The idea of ​​building a dam for the drinking water needs of the people of Bengaluru cannot be accepted. Karnataka and Tamil Nadu should cooperate to safeguard good relations,” he said.

Uneven comparison

“On the issue of the Mekedatu balancing reservoir, I wish to state the comparison of that project, intended for storing of 67.16 TMC water, with the two hydro power projects of Tamil Nadu would not be correct,” he added.

“Let me clarify at the very outset that there is no consumption of water in these two hydro power projects, with the available water being just re-circulated by pumping to meet peak power demand. Since there is no additional usage created, both the projects do not affect the availability of water for irrigation or drinking usage in Tamil Nadu. Hence, I wish to emphasise that the comparison of such qualitatively different projects is not appropriate.”

Yediyurappa’s letter

Stalin’s letter came in response to Yediyurappa’s letter on Saturday, where the latter called for cooperation between the two states. The Karnataka Chief Minister had suggested a bilateral meeting to address any apprehension about the balancing reservoir-cum-drinking water project.

Also read: Easing one state’s water shortage to make it worse for another?

“I am to state that it would be in the interest of all concerned and to have better relationship between the state of Karnataka and state of Tamil Nadu, if the Tamil Nadu government in the right spirit would not oppose the implementation of the project,” he had said. Yediyurappa also insisted that the implementation of the project would “in no way affect the interests of the farmers of Tamil Nadu.”

In his reply, Stalin said the proposed Mekedatu project would ‘impound and divert’ the flow of Cauvery water into Tamil Nadu that has been recommended under the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, which was modified by the Supreme Court.

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