Farmers protest CWMA decision to refer Karnataka’s Mekedatu dam proposal to CWC

Members of Cauvery Farmers Association burnt copies of the minutes of the February 1 meeting of the CWMA; similar protests were held at Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Chidambaram, and Sirkazhi

Published - May 21, 2024 06:10 pm IST - THANJAVUR

Farmers burning copies of the minutes of the CWMA in Thanjavur on Tuesday.

Farmers burning copies of the minutes of the CWMA in Thanjavur on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: R. VENGADESH

Members of the Cauvery Farmers’ Association, at a protest in Thanjavur on Tuesday, burnt copies of the minutes of the previous meeting of the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), condemning its decision to refer back to the Central Water Commission (CWC) Karnataka’s proposal to build a reservoir at Mekedatu.

The agitation, held in front of the Head Post Office in Thanjavur, was led by association general secretary P.R. Pandian. Similar agitations were held at Tiruvarur, Nagapattinam, Chidambaram, and Sirkazhi. The agitating farmers raised slogans demanding the withdrawal of the decision by the CWMA and urged the Centre not to permit Karnataka to build the dam.

Mr. Pandian told presspersons that the decision of the CWMA taken at a meeting on February 1 was illegal. The CWMA Chairman, S.K. Haldar, had insulted the Supreme Court and the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, which had not allowed construction of any dam. The State government had failed to prevent the CWMA from going ahead with the decision, Mr. Pandian alleged.

He strongly criticised the WRD Secretary Sandeep Saxena for failing to protect the rights of the State at the CWMA meet and demanded his removal from the post. He called upon the State government to initiate immediate legal measures against the CWMA decision and to prevent the construction of the dam by Karnataka.

Citing the construction of a check dam across the Silandhi river by the Kerala government, Mr. Pandian accused Chief Minister M.K. Stalin of failing to protect the rights of Tamil Nadu on various water resources. A meeting of all farmers’ association will be held in Coimbatore on May 25 to discuss the issue, he said.

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