Tamil Nadu

TN moves SC against Mekedatu project

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam

Tamil Nadu on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court to restrain Karnataka from going ahead with the construction of two reservoirs across the Cauvery at Mekedatu and stop inviting a global expression of interest in a technical feasibility study.

In its application, Tamil Nadu said Karnataka was undertaking new power projects not permitted by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in its final award. The tribunal had it made clear that such a project, if implemented, should be consistent with its decision. Initially, Karnataka wanted to build the two power projects, through National Hydro Power Corporation Limited (NHPC), with the Centre’s approval. Now, without any approval, it wanted to execute the projects on its own.

The application said the aim of the tribunal’s final award was that hydro projects should not affect the water release patterns. “Karnataka is not merely desirous of proceeding with the Mekedatu project but is intending to alter it by constructing two reservoirs across the river… Karnataka cannot unilaterally take up the construction of the two reservoirs as it would result in impounding of the flows in the intermediate catchment below the Krishnaraja Sagar and Kabini reservoirs, and Billigundulu in the common border of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.”

The proposed construction, the application said, would impact the daily and monthly flows into the Mettur dam during the crucial period from June to September, seriously affecting the interests of Tamil Nadu farmers. Further, any new scheme should be taken up only with the consent of the Cauvery Management Board, ordered to be set up in the final award, and the consent of the lower riparian States.

Karnataka informed the Union Ministry of Power that since there was no specific directive in the final award that projects be taken up through NHPC, the projects at Shivasamudram and Mekedatu, both within its territory, were being taken up through Karnataka Power Corporation, which had started preliminary works.

Tamil Nadu wrote to the Union Ministry of Water Resources and the Prime Minister; but so far, the Centre had not issued any instruction to Karnataka not to implement projects that were not contemplated in the final award. Hence, the present application.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2022 3:04:46 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/Tamil-Nadu-to-move-Supreme-Court-over-Mekedatu-project/article60318235.ece