Tiruchirapalli

Farmers submit petition to PM against Mekedatu Dam project

Farmers stage a dharna in front of the District Collectorate in Tirunelveli on Monday.   | Photo Credit: A. SHAIKMOHIDEEN

Demonstrating in front of the Collectorate here on Monday, members of Tamil Nadu Vivasaayigal Sangam submitted a petition to be forwarded to the Prime Minister through the Collector in protest against the Karnataka government’s move to construct a dam at Mekedatu and seeking removal of the check-dam constructed across the Markandeya that brings water to the South Pennai iver.

The petitioners, led by former MLA and district president of Tamil Nadu Vivasaayigal Sangam S.V. Krishnan and district secretary P. Perumbadaiyar, said the inter-State river of Cauvery, which was feeding the ranches of 12 tail-end districts of Tamil Nadu and quenching the thirst of several crore population in a few more districts also, should not be treated as the property of Karnataka though it originated in the State.

Even as sharing of the Cauvery water was still an issue with Karnataka for Tamil Nadu, as the neighboruing State had not honoured any of the verdicts relating to it in letter and in spirit, the Karnataka government had announced in the State Assembly that it would construct a new dam across the river at Mekedatu in the guise of resolving drinking water crisis in Bengaluru.

“The Karnataka government has not released the share of Tamil Nadu this year even after an order from Cauvery Water Management Authority causing irrigation and drinking water crisis in our State. The kuruvai paddy cultivated in the delta region is withering due to water scarcity. If this new dam is built across the Cauvery, it will further worsen the situation. Karnataka, which should respect the riparian rights of Tamil Nadu farmers, is adamant in going ahead with the proposed Mekedatu dam as it has submitted an application seeking permission for commencing the construction The Union gGovernment should reject the plea,” said Mr. Perumbadaiyar.

The protesting farmers also said the Karnataka government had constructed a 164-foot-tall and 1,410 foot-long check-dam across the Markandeya that brought water to the South Pennai river, which would wipe out farming operations in eight districts of Tamil Nadu and a few parts of Puducherry.

“When the Karnataka government tried to construct the dam across the Markandeya in 2007, the Tamil Nadu government petitioned the Supreme Court that directed the Union government in 2019 to form a Central committee to resolve the inter-State river water sharing issue. Even as the formation of the Central committee got delayed, the Karnataka government has built the check-dam. Hence, this illegal structure should be removed,” said Mr. Perimbadaiyar.


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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 12:47:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/farmers-submit-petition-to-pm-against-mekedatu-dam-project/article35544319.ece

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