BENGALURU, MYSURU: With Tamil Nadu planning to utilise surplus Cauvery water to link rivers, the Karnataka government on Monday said it will strongly oppose the project and will push the much-delayed Mekedatu balancing reservoir project in the state. As the Cauvery issue heated up, Kannada activists accused the Centre of favouring the Tamil Nadu project with an eye on the upcoming Assembly elections in that state.
Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said, “We will not allow Tamil Nadu or any other state to use surplus waters from the Cauvery river.” What triggered the fresh war of words was the foundation stone-laying ceremony by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy on Sunday for an intra-state river-linking project by building a canal from Cauvery river to Vaigai and Gundar rivers. The project plans to divert over 6,000 tmcft of surplus Cauvery water.
Deputy Chief Minister Dr C N Ashwath Narayan said Karnataka will take up the Mekedatu project and sought details of works taken up by the Tamil Nadu government, while Water Resources Minister Ramesh Jarkiholi left for Delhi to file objections against the Tamil Nadu project.
Take steps to stop TN project, Oppn urges govt
“We are preparing for a legal battle against the proposed irrigation project. The government has given clear directions to the concerned minister and officers to take up the Mekedatu project, which will help increase
the quantum of drinking water to Ramanagara and other districts, and also augment hydel power generation,” the DyCM said.
Opposition leaders and activists pressured the State Government to take steps to stop the Tamil Nadu project. Former Prime Minister and JDS supremo H D Deve Gowda said that the Centre should be pressurised to bring a halt to the project, while JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy said it is surprising that the State Government did not know about the project, though it was funded by the Central Government.
“The Tamil Nadu government was opposing the Mekedatu project from the beginning as it was sure that once the project comes up, it will not get surplus water. It is using the same surplus water to fill up 342 lakes. The issue of surplus water always triggers a war-like situation. The Union Government that did not help Karnataka with the Mekedatu project is supporting Tamil Nadu’s river-linking scheme. This shows how the Centre is treating Karnataka,” rued Kumaraswamy, taking to social media.
mahadayi case: state suffers setback in sc
Karnataka suffered a setback in the Supreme Court on Monday, with regard to the Mahadayi project on sharing the Mandovi river water with Goa and Maharashtra. The SC ordered that a Joint Inspection Committee be formed to investigate whether Karnataka diverted Mandovi water under the project in violation of court orders.