Tamil Nadu flags shortage in its share of Cauvery water

State Secretary for Water Resources Department, in a letter to the Cauvery Water Management Authority, has sought directions to the Karnataka government to release Tamil Nadu’s actual share for July as per the schedule, says Minister for Water Resources Duraimurugan

Published - July 03, 2023 10:21 pm IST - CHENNAI

Following Tamil Nadu’s strong objection to the proposal to build a dam at Mekedatu, the issue was not taken on agenda during the meetings of the Cauvery Water Management Authority held this year.

Following Tamil Nadu’s strong objection to the proposal to build a dam at Mekedatu, the issue was not taken on agenda during the meetings of the Cauvery Water Management Authority held this year. | Photo Credit: K. Murali Kumar

Objecting to the deficit in its share of water received from Karnataka, the Tamil Nadu government on Monday wrote to the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) flagging the issue and seeking directions to the neighbouring State to release Tamil Nadu’s actual share for July as per the schedule.

Tamil Nadu Secretary for Water Resources Department wrote the letter to the CWMA on July 3, Minister for Water Resources Duraimurugan said in a statement. Wondering why Karnataka kept bringing up the Mekedatu issue every now and then and whether it was due to “political compulsion”, he reiterated that Tamil Nadu “would never permit” a dam at the site.

The Tamil Nadu government would block the efforts to construct a dam across the Cauvery at Mekedatu by placing strong arguments when the cases relating to this issue come up for hearing in the Supreme Court, Mr. Duraimurugan said. “The Tamil Nadu government will take all necessary steps to protect the rights of the State and provide uninterrupted water supply for agriculture,” he added.

In his response to a statement made by AIADMK general secretary and former Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami, Mr. Duraimurugan said: “This government will take appropriate steps over the issue regarding the proposal for a dam at Mekedatu. Let us all work together on this issue.” s

Contending that the Tamil Nadu government was taking necessary efforts “at all levels” to receive its share of Cauvery water in line with the judgment of the Supreme Court, he said Tamil Nadu had urged the CWMA during its 21st meeting held on June 16 to issue a direction to Karnataka to provide Tamil Nadu’s due share. The deficit in Tamil Nadu’s share for June was also flagged during a meeting of the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) held on June 30.

Terming as “regrettable” the meeting of Karnataka’s Deputy Chief Minister with the Union Minister for Jal Shakti over permission for the Mekedatu proposal, Mr. Duraimurugan pointed out that the proposal was against the judgment of the Supreme Court. He further recalled that Chief Minister M.K. Stalin reiterated the State’s opposition to the proposal when he met the Prime Minister on June 17, 2021, March 31, 2022 and May 26, 2022.

Whenever he met the Union Minister for Jal Shakti (July 7, 2021, July 16, 2021 and June 22, 2022), Mr. Duraimurugan said he urged that the permission should not be granted for constructing a dam at Mekedatu without the consent of Tamil Nadu. The pleas moved by Tamil Nadu over the issue were pending in the Supreme Court, he pointed out.

Following Tamil Nadu’s strong objection to the proposal at Mekedatu, the issue was not taken on agenda during the meetings of the CWMA held on February 10, April 11 and June 16, the Minister said.

The Minister also recalled that Mr. Stalin opened the sluices of the Mettur dam on the customary date of June 12 for the benefit of farmers in the Cauvery delta. The State government has also announced a special kuruvai package to benefit farmers.

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