Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami has written to the government of India, seeking rejection of Karnataka government's proposal regarding Mekedatu project.
The letter written on Monday said that Tamil Nadu has been constantly urging the union government to reject the project proposal. “The proposed Mekedatu Project is not in conformity with the final order of the Tribunal and the judgment of the Supreme Court, since the project is not a designated reservoir for the release of water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu in terms of the final order of the Tribunal as modified by the Hon’ble Supreme Court,” read the letter.
Accusing Karnataka of not having consulted with Tamil Nadu or any other states that share the Cauvery basin, the Chief Minister said that the matter concerning the legality of building the reservoir is pending before the apex court. Requesting the government of India to reject the proposal by the government of Karnataka to build Mekedatu reservoir, the letter further stated, “The Ministry of Jal Shakti may be directed to advise the Central Water Commission to reject outright and return the Detailed Project Report of the Mekedatu balancing reservoir project of Karnataka and also not to accord any clearance to the above project without obtaining the prior concurrence of the Government of Tamil Nadu and of other co-basin states.”
The letter from Tamil Nadu Chief Minister comes days after the Cauvery Neeravari Nigama Niyamita, an undertaking of the government of Karnataka tasked with managing the Cauvery river and the affairs related to it, wrote to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change seeking grant of Terms of Reference (ToRs) for construction of Mekedatu reservoir across Cauvery. The project, which is expected to come up in the Ramanagara and Chamarajnagar districts of Karnataka, will help in providing drinking water to Bengaluru and its surrounding areas, claimed the letter.
The Mekedatu project has been a matter of dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu since the day the project was mooted. Tamil Nadu’s claims that a new dam across Cauvery will adversely affect the livelihoods of many in the state has been rejected by Karnataka. In return, Tamil Nadu has approached the Supreme court with a petition to order a stay on the project.