Mekedatu Dispute
The "mega protest" against the Mekedatu dam-cum-drinking water project will be held on December 4 in Trichy.
Twitter: @mkstalin

Days after the Central Water Commission (CWC) gave the go-ahead to Karnataka on the controversial Mekedatu dam project on the river Cauvery, DMK, the main opposition party in the state, along with other allied parties, have announced a protest on December 4. DMK President and Leader of the Opposition MK Stalin tweeted that an all-party meeting, which was convened earlier on Thursday, had decided to "stage a mega protest against the recklessness of the Central government."

Stalin added that the protest meet to be held in Trichy on December 4 will also call for the cancellation of the permission granted to Karnataka. The Central Water Commission had granted permission to Karnataka for the preparation of a detailed project report on Tuesday, giving the preliminary nod to its pre-feasibility report. Shortly thereafter, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami wrote to the Centre, reiterating objections to Karnataka’s dam-cum-drinking water project.

The technical agency, which functions under the aegis of the Ministry of Water Resources, had noted that the Karnataka government must provide Tamil Nadu with the required water from Cauvery, as prescribed by the Supreme Court’s February 2018 verdict on the centuries-long dispute between the two states.

The Rs 5,912-crore project aims to alleviate the drinking water problems of Karnataka’s Bengaluru and Ramanagara district. It is also expected to generate hydro-electricity to meet the power needs of the state.

However, Tamil Nadu has contested that the CWC has given nod without giving heed to the "genuine and justifiable" objections of the state.

Seeking a rollback of the permission, the CM Palaniswami wrote, “The action of the Central Water Commission has caused great alarm and apprehension among the people of Tamil Nadu as it will affect the livelihood of lakhs of farmers who depend on Cauvery water.”

Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan, too, had earlier expressed his displeasure with the approval for the Mekedatu project due to its potential to adversely impact many people in Tamil Nadu.