Karnataka files response to Tamil Nadu’s plea against Mekedatu dam

Jal Shakti Minister reiterates that DPR has been forwarded to Cauvery authority

July 27, 2021 08:58 pm | Updated 08:58 pm IST - CHENNAI

The view of the spot which is actually called the Mekedatu. File

The view of the spot which is actually called the Mekedatu. File

The Karnataka government has recently conveyed its response to the Centre regarding the Tamil Nadu government’s request not to take up the Mekedatu balancing reservoir-cum-drinking water project, according to Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

This was through Karnataka’s communication of July 20, Mr. Shekhawat informed the Rajya Sabha on Monday in a reply to an un-starred question of former Union health minister, Anbumani Ramadoss of the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK).

Answering the queries of the former Union Minister whether the Karnataka government had sought permission from the Centre on the project and whether Tamil Nadu had given its consent, the Union Minister replied that the Screening Committee of the Central Water Commission (CWC), in its meeting on October 24, 2018, accorded “in-principle” clearance to Karnataka for preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR) by the project authority (government of Karnataka), subject to “certain conditions.”

In January 2019, the Karnataka government submitted the DPR of the project to the CWC, copies of which had been forwarded to the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) for obtaining consent of co-basin States.

Explained | Why are Karnataka and Tamil Nadu sparring over the Mekedatu dam project in the Cauvery Basin?

As for the position on the 1892 agreement between the Madras Presidency and the then princely State of Mysore (presently, States of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka), the Minister quoted the Clause III of the pact in which the Mysore government should furnish to Madras the “full information” regarding the proposed work on new irrigation reservoir or any new anicut on any of the rivers, listed in Schedules A, B and C of the Annexure to the agreement, and obtain consent of the latter ahead of the commencement of the work.

The Madras government “shall be bound not to refuse such consent except for the protection of prescriptive right, already acquired and actually existing,” the Minister’s reply quoted the relevant Clause as saying. The Cauvery river and its tributaries had been mentioned in the Schedule-A, the Minister added.

To a query by Mr. Vaiko of the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) and M. Shanmugam of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam last week on efforts made by the Centre to get the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal implemented, Union Minister of State for Jal Shakti told the House that the Central government, through a gazette notification on June 1, 2018, constituted the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) and Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) to give effect to the Tribunal's decision, as modified by the Supreme Court in February 2018.

Twelve meetings of the CWMA and 48 meetings of the CWRC were held up to July 14.

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