Karnataka

There is no compromise on Mekedatu project: Bommai

The spot identified for the Mekedatu balancing reservoir project across the Cauvery in Ramanagaram district.   | Photo Credit: File Photo

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday reiterated that there would be no compromise on implementing Mekedatu balancing reservoir, a drinking water project, in the Cauvery basin of the State.

“Tamil Nadu has always made a political capital of the inter-State dispute, we are not interested. They are trying to politicise everything. Entire political system in Tamil Nadu has been opposing the project,” Mr. Bommai said.

‘Will apprise leadership’

On Tamil Nadu BJP president K. Annamalai, a former IPS officer who has served in Karnataka for many years, opposing the project, the Chief Minister said, “I will apprise the central leadership. We have spoken with Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat regarding the project. Let anybody protest, let anybody gone on dharna,” the Chief Minister said.

Tamil Nadu had been opposing the project for political gains and not for any other objectives. The project was proposed by the Karnataka government for providing drinking water to residents of Bengaluru and surrounding districts and for power generation and not for increasing irrigation area, Mr. Bommai told presspersons.

Tamil Nadu has unanimously passed a resolution urging the Union government not to accord permission to Karnataka for Mekedatu project.

Mr. Bommai said the Karnataka government had submitted a memorandum to Mr. Shekhawat and the Centre had assured the State of granting all clearances for the project.

“I am hopeful of the Centre clearing the DPR of the project. After obtaining all clearances, the work on the project will start. There is no compromise. If anybody is protesting against it, we are not concerned about it and we are not taking it seriously,” the Chief Minister said.

Resolution

A few days ago, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin chaired an all-party meeting in Chennai which passed a resolution saying no construction must be undertaken at Mekedatu without the permission of the downstream States as per the Supreme Court’s judgment.

The Karnataka government insisted that the Centre had no reason to stall it since drinking water was a major project component. The Opposition Congress in Karnataka too supported the implementation of the project.

Meanwhile, urging the State government to take up Mekedatu project, Karnataka State Sugarcane Growers’ Association president Kurubur Shanthakumar said Karnataka should plan to utilise 189 tmcft of the Cauvery waters allocated by the Supreme Court. Even in the 1960s when the State was planning a reservoir across the Kabini, Tamil Nadu had opposed the project, he said. “On the lines of how Karnataka built Kabini reservoir from its own funds and despite opposition from Tamil Nadu, the State should take up Mekedatu project to utilise 100 tmcft of water that flows in excess of allocation to Tamil Nadu.”


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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 10:30:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/there-is-no-compromise-on-mekedatu-project-bommai/article35756281.ece

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