Karnataka

Mekedatu project | Government urged to step up efforts for NoC from Central Water Commission

Karnataka : Ramanagara : 07/12/2018 : The View of the spot which is actually called the Mekedatu which is 1.5 ahead the place where reservoir is identified by Karnataka Government for the project of construction of balancing reservoir cum drinking water in Ramanagara District on Friday 07 December 2018. Photo : Sudhakara Jain / The Hindu.

Karnataka : Ramanagara : 07/12/2018 : The View of the spot which is actually called the Mekedatu which is 1.5 ahead the place where reservoir is identified by Karnataka Government for the project of construction of balancing reservoir cum drinking water in Ramanagara District on Friday 07 December 2018. Photo : Sudhakara Jain / The Hindu.

Close on the heels of the proposed Mekedatu balancing reservoir project hogging the limelight recently with the Congress taking out a ‘padayatra’ in its support, the Institution of Engineers-India’s Karnataka State Center on Tuesday urged the State Government to step up its efforts to get an NoC from the Central Water Commission (CWC) and other clearances to its proposal on constructing the proposed reservoir.

The IEI argued that the project ensures water supply to Bengaluru from the Cauvery round the year, besides meeting the drinking water needs of Ramanagaram, Kolar and Chickballapur districts.

The project also has an “indirect” benefit as farmers in Mysuru region will be assured of water all through the year as the “pressure” on the four major dams in the Cauvery basin, which have a combined storage of 114.57 tmcft, will be eased, with the construction of the balancing reservoir, it claimed.

“The proposed Mekedatu project’s focus is only on meeting the drinking water needs of the people. The project is, however, opposed by Tamil Nadu. But, on the contrary, the project benefits the neighbouring State the most. Moreover, there’s no provision for irrigation in the project and the water, after power generation, is released into the river that eventually flows into T.N.,” said IEI-State Chairman M. Lakshmana.

During his presentation on the topic ‘Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir-cum-Drinking Water Project’ here, he said the KRS, Hemavathi, Kabini and Harangi dams have a combined storage of 114.75 tmcft. However, Karnataka’s share of Cauvery water is 284.75 tmcft. As the dams are unable to store the allocated share, the water flows into Bay of Bengal with neither the State nor T.N. having storage for the surplus water. Therefore, a detailed project report (DPR) on the Mekedatu project was prepared in 2013 and the same was sent to the CWC for its clearance. The revised estimate of the project was ₹9,000 crore and the proposed reservoir has a storage capacity of 67.14 tmcft, he explained.

He maintained that the nod of Cauvery Water Management Authority to the proposed project was not required since Karnataka was only intending to make use of its share of water.

Mr. Lakshmana claimed that the Siddaramaiah Government had identified nearly 14,000 acres of land at Magadi and near Shivamogga/Dandeli as replacement for the forest land that would get submerged once the proposed reservoir was constructed. “As per the DPR prepared in 2013, 4,716 hectares of forest land goes into the project besides 280 hectares of revenue land.”

Arguing that the project will in no way affect T.N.’s share of water, Mr. Lakshmana said the allocated water to the State can be utilised practically without wasting its portion if the proposed reservoir was constructed. It will ease pressure on the four dams since the State has to release around 30 tmcft to T.N. during summer every year.

If the State could hold water after releasing T.N.’s share, it will help farmers in the basin get more water for their crops and take up cultivation of second crop, he argued.


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Printable version | May 17, 2022 7:47:51 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/mekedatu-govt-urged-to-step-up-efforts-for-noc-from-central-water-commission/article38288424.ece