Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday informed the Legislative Assembly that the State Government was committed to implementing the Mekedatu dam project proposed across the Cauvery river in Ramanagaram district.
He would convene an all-party meeting to discus the project and lead a delegation to Delhi to appraise the Centre of the necessity of the project for Karnataka, Mr. Siddaramaiah said during his reply to the debate on the State Budget.
Referring to Tamil Nadu's opposition to the project, he said the neighbouring State's objection was "politically motivated". The State Government would face the issue "legally".
Mr. Siddaramaiah said Rs. 25 crore had been set aside for preparing a detailed project report. The project was conceived to meet the drinking water needs of people residing in the parched districts around Bengaluru. It would act as a balancing reservoir and harness water flowing into the sea.
"There is no politics in Krishna and Cauvery waters. We are building the Mekedatu dam within our state, they (TN) will not have any problem from it, and we know how to face this legally," the Chief Minister said.
The State has been releasing 192 tmcft water to Tamil Nadu as per the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal. But the neighbouring State had been exploiting the issue all along for political gains, Mr. Siddaramaiah remarked.
Tamil Nadu observed a bandh on Saturday opposing the plan for the Mekadatu project this side of the border. Bus services between the two states were disrupted and pro-Kannada organisations burnt effigies of Tamil Nadu leaders for opposing the project.
The Tamil Nadu Assembly had adopted a unanimous resolution urging Centre to stop Karnataka from going ahead with building the dam across the inter-state river.
Members representing the Cauvery basin area urged the Government to expedite the implementation of the project.
The then Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had written to the then prime minister Manmohan Singh urging him to advice Karnataka government not to take up any schemes in the Cauvery basin without the consent of Tamil Nadu.
Karnataka invites Expression of Interest from global consultants to take up a drinking water project at Mekedatu in Kanakapura taluk of Ramanagaram district. This project designed to be bigger than the Krishnaraja Sagar
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in his budget speech proposed preparing a detailed project report for construction of “balancing reservoir” on the upstream of Mekedatu across Cauvery river in Kanakapura taluk in Ramanagaram district.
Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly moved a unanimous resolution urging the Centre to stop the proposed project by Karnataka. Irrigation Minister M.B. Patil says the State’s legal team set to fight Tamil Nadu's objections to the proposed project across the Cauvery.
Tamil Nadu parliamentarians, cutting across party lines, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Farmers’ bodies call for a Tamil Nadu bandh on March 28 over the Mekadatu dam row.
Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal (Secular) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda visited the site. There is “no logic” in Tamil Nadu’s objection. “The project will utilise water that flows into the sea and Tamil Nadu need not be apprehensive.”