Mekedatu dam | Tamil Nadu moves Supreme Court

The proposed construction of the reservoir by Karnataka would have a “cascading effect” on the daily and monthly inflows for Tamil Nadu during the crucial months of June to September.   | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

The Tamil Nadu government has urgently moved the Supreme Court seeking judicial orders to restrain Karnataka from proceedings with “any activity” in regard to the proposed construction of a reservoir at Mekedatu across the inter-State Cauvery river.

The application, drawn by advocate G. Umapathy, vetted by Tamil Nadu Advocate General R. Shanmugasundaram and filed by advocate D. Kumanan, stated that the planning of the Mekedatu project by Karnataka with a capacity of 67.16 TMC ft. and generation of 400 MW project worth ₹9,000 crore was in “gross violation" of the decision of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal of February 5, 2007, which was affirmed by the Supreme Court itself on February 16, 2018.

“The entire objective of the Tribunal’s final decision is to ensure that the pattern of the release of water to the downstream State to meet irrigation interests is not jeopardised,” Tamil Nadu said.

It submitted that Karnataka unilaterally, despite the Tribunal and apex court decisions, sent a feasibility report of the Mekedatu project to the Central Water Commission (CWC), which proceeded to entertain the proposal.

“The proposed reservoir would result in the impounding of the flows generated in the Cauvery river from the uncontrolled catchment of the Kabini sub-basin downstream of the Kabini reservoir, the catchment of Cauvery river downstream of KRS dam, uncontrolled flows from Shimsha, Arkavathy and Suvarnavathy sub-basins and various other small streams, which are the sources to ensure 177.25TMC at Billigundlu,” the State application stated.

‘Cascading effect’

The proposed construction of the reservoir by Karnataka would have a “cascading effect” on the daily and monthly inflows during the crucial months of June to September and “prejudice the livelihood of lakhs of inhabitants of Tamil Nadu depending on the flows from the upstream in Karnataka”, it said.

“Further any new scheme contemplated should be taken up only with the consent of the other basin States as they are vitally affected by the unilateral action of the upper riparian State,” Tamil Nadu pressed.

The State urged the Supreme Court to direct the CWC to reject and return the detailed project report for the proposed Mekedatu balancing reservoir-cum-drinking water project filed by Karnataka on January 18, 2019.

It also requested the court to restrain the Environment Ministry and its agencies from entertaining any application for clearance relating to the Mekedatu project.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 2:26:17 PM |

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