BENGALURU: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Saturday maintained that the State will get the Union government’s approval and go ahead with the Mekedatu balancing reservoir-cum-drinking water project across the Cauvery river at any cost.
His statement comes in the wake of BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit president and former IPS officer K Annamalai announcing that the party will hold a oneday hunger protest on August 5 at Thanjavur in the Cauvery delta against Karnataka’s decision to go ahead with the project.
Speaking to reporters on the second day of his Delhi visit after taking charge as the Chief Minister, Bommai said the State government has prepared a detailed project report on the Mekedatu project and submitted it to the Central government for its approval.
Reacting to Annamalai’s threat, Bommai said Karnataka will go ahead with the project “no matter who stops eating or drinking” pointing out that it was “not his concern”. “My only concern is getting sufficient drinking water (for Karnataka). Mekedatu project is our right. We will not step back from implementing it,” the Chief Minister added.
Meanwhile, the Opposition Congress in Karnataka has urged the State government to immediately start work on the proposed Mekedatu project.
Start works on project immediately, says KPCC
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president DK Shivakumar said that the government should start work on the long-pending project without any further delay. He also promised that his party would cooperate with the government.
“Not even one acre will be irrigated by the Mekedatu project. It is a project to provide drinking water to Bengaluru and to generate electricity. Let the BJP, DMK and other parties in Tamil Nadu do whatever they want to do, our government should start the work immediately,” he said. Shivakumar is the MLA from Kanakapura constituency in Karnataka where Mekedatu is located.
“Bommai had earlier worked as the water resources minister and is fully aware of the project details. He should bring pressure on the Union Government and get necessary approvals,” the KPCC president added.