Karnataka

Mekedatu: MPs to protest against Tamil Nadu’s move on December 27

A file photo of Mekedatu, along the Cauvery, in Ramanagaram.

A file photo of Mekedatu, along the Cauvery, in Ramanagaram.  

Members of Parliament cutting across party lines from both Houses are set to come together to protest the Tamil Nadu government’s action of going to court over the Mekedatu dam project. The protest is scheduled for December 27 outside Parliament.

The joint action decision was taken by the MPs after a meeting at Union Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda’s residence here. At the meeting, Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar briefed those present, including Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, on the issue.

The proposed Mekedatu reservoir over the Cauvery aims to provide a reservoir in Kanakapura in Karnataka, upstream of the river, after concerns were expressed by successive State governments that much of the Cauvery water flows into the sea in years of good rainfall, making sharing of water very contentious between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The Tamil Nadu government disputes the efficacy of such a reservoir and has gone to court over the issue.

All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MPs have also been protesting in Parliament over what they term efforts to choke water supply to farmers of the Cauvery delta in their State. The Centre has given conditional approval for the dam.

At the meeting in Mr. Gowda’s residence, both he and Mr. Shivakumar briefed the 33 (of a total of 40) parliamentarians who were present on the nitty-gritty of the issue. “The briefing stressed that the reservoir would not harm, in any way, the rights of the farmers of Tamil Nadu, and that it was a way to prevent wastage of water, considering the Cauvery award and the Karnataka government’s obligations under it,” said Rajeev Chandrashekhar, BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP. He added that the issue was not one of confrontation and the Karnataka government was not encroaching on the rights of the farmers of Tamil Nadu.

In Lok Sabha

The Union government has reiterated the Central Water Commission’s condition that the Karnataka government should consider the views of other States while preparing a detailed project report (DPR) on the Mekedatu project.

Responding to a question raised by MPs D.K. Suresh (Congress) and Nalin Kumar Kateel (BJP), Minister of State for Water Resources Arjun Ram Meghwal said on Thursday that the in-principle approval given by the CWC came with the condition “so that inter-State issues can be resolved amicably”.

The response also made it clear that the CWC has mandated that the Cauvery Water Management Authority’s approval was a pre-requisite for the project.

Responding to a query asking if the Centre had taken any steps to expedite the project by providing funds, the Minister said the matter “did not arise at present”.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 10:41:21 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/mekedatu-mps-to-protest-against-tn-move-on-december-27/article25791958.ece

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