BENGALURU: Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Tuesday asserted that Karnataka will go ahead and implement the Mekedatu balancing reservoir-cum-drinking water project. Speaking to reporters on Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin’s response to his letter on the project, Yediyurappa said he was hoping for coordination and cordial relations between the two states.
“Karnataka will implement the Mekedatu project across river Cauvery, and people of the state should have no doubts about it. Things are favourable for us in this regard, there is no question of halting it. We will implement the project within the legal framework and no one can stop it,” he said.
Last week, Yediyurappa had written to Stalin, appealing that Tamil Nadu should not oppose the project since it was beneficial to citizens of both riparian states. In response, Stalin had asked Yediyurappa to drop the project, deeming it harmful for Tamil Nadu farmers. “I had requested the Chief Minister (of Tamil Nadu) not to oppose it, in good spirit, as it will benefit both states, but for some reasons, his response was not encouraging. Even then, we will implement the project,” Yediyurappa reiterated.
State’s Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Basavaraj Bommai, too, had said on Monday that Karnataka will continue its legal battle with regard to implementation of the Mekedatu project, as Yediyurappa’s letter to his Tamil Nadu counterpart urging him not to object to it, did not elicit a positive response.
Karnataka has maintained that the project will benefit both states as the surplus water stored can be managed between the two during the distress year, and its implementation will in no way affect the interests of the farming communities of Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu is of the view that the project would “impound and divert” the uncontrolled water flow due to Tamil Nadu from Kabini sub-basin, the catchment area below Krishnarajasagara, and also from Shimsha, Arkavathy and Suvarnavathi sub-basins, besides other small streams. Mekedatu is a multipurpose (drinking and power) project, which involves building a balancing reservoir, near Kanakapura.