Mekadatu: Not a nod for construction, only project report, Centre tells SC

‘Clearance only for project report’

The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that the conditional clearance given to Karnataka for preparing a detailed project report on Mekedatu balancing reservoir-cum-drinking water project is subject to the amicable resolution of connected inter-State matters.

“The conditional clearance is only for preparing the detailed project report and it no way conveys clearance by the central government or the Central Water Commission (CWC) for construction of the project,” the Ministry of Water Resources said in an affidavit.

The Centre submitted that the conditional clearance for preparing the DPR was as per Guidelines of submission, appraisal and acceptance of irrigation and multi-purpose project-2017. The technical parameters have not been finalised yet.

It said the nod of the Cauvery Water Management Authority would be a “pre-requisite” for consideration of the DPR for techno-economic approval by the advisory committee of the ministry.

The government said it was fully conscious of the interests of farmers of the Cauvery delta and would not permit any activity detrimental to the their livelihood.

Water for Tamil Nadu

It argued that even the conditional clearance was based on the premise that the reservoir would help Karnataka fulfill its obligation to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.

Tamil Nadu had submitted that the Mekedatu project in its present form violates the decisions of the tribunal and apex court for equitable apportionment of Cauvery water.

“The proposed construction of any new dam by the State of Karnataka through its instrumentalities would alter the adjudication to the distribution of 10 daily/monthly releases to Tamil Nadu. This amounts to interference with the adjudication, which is in contempt of the Supreme Court judgment of February 16, 2018,” the petition said.

Karnataka had however termed Tamil Nadu’s grievances against the unilateral approval granted by the CWC to prepare the DPR for the project as “false, frivolous and vexatious.”

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Printable version | Jul 9, 2020 4:47:02 AM |

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