Days after the government of Tamil Nadu knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court with a contempt petition against Karnataka on Mekedatu project, the Puducherry government has moved the apex court on the matter.
The petition filed by the government of Puducherry on Friday sought the intervention of the Supreme Court, and a stay on the permission given to the government of Karnataka to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR) on Mekedatu project. It also sought the withdrawal of the permission given for the preparation of DPR on the matter and to maintain status quo on the issue until all the petitions are disposed of by the court.
The petition was filed against the government of Karnataka, Cauvery Neeravari Nigam limited and Central Water Commission against whom actions have been sought.
This move by Puducherry, which is also a lower riparian area in the Cauvery basin, comes after the Tamil Nadu government filed a contempt of court plea against the Central Water Commission, Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited, Cauvery Water Management Authority and DK Shivakumar, the Karnataka minister for water resources. In its plea, Tamil Nadu mentioned that the actions of the water commission were a wilful disobedience of the order of the Supreme Court on the Cauvery water dispute case.
In February 2018, the Supreme Court upheld the portion of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunalâ€™s order which stated that no upper riparian state can construct a new dam on the river without the consent of the lower riparian states. Despite the order specifically prohibiting a new dam without the consent of the states that are located in the lower course of the river, the Central Water Commission gave a go-ahead to Karnatakaâ€™s Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited to prepare a DPR on the Mekedatu balancing reservoir cum drinking water project on November 22.
While Tamil Nadu and now Puducherry have now approached the apex court for intervention, DK Shivakumar recently wrote to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, requesting for a meeting to explain the project. In his letter, Shivakumar also stated that the dam is not for irrigation and building a dam in the state of Karnataka is well within the rights of the state government.