BENGALURU: Hassan JDS Lok Sabha member Prajwal Revanna, who raised the issue of requisite clearances for the Mekedatu project, has alleged that he did not get “complete and correct answers’’ from the minister concerned, alleging that the latter had been “economical with the truth.’’
Prajwal has raised four questions — whether environmental clearance for the Mekedatu project had been granted; the time frame by when environmental clearance is likely to be approved; details of villages likely to be submerged or affected; and action taken by the Government for quick environmental clearance for the project.
In a written response on Monday, Union Minister of State for Environment Forests and Climate Change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey said, “A proposal for grant of terms of reference to conduct environment impact assessment study for construction of Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir was submitted to the Ministry on June 20, 2019.
The proposal was considered by the Expert Appraisal Committee, constituted by the ministry to consider the proposal of river valley and hydro-electric project for grant of environment clearance, in its 25th meeting held on July 19, 2019. The committee, after detailed deliberations on the proposed project, inter-alia opined that in view of inter-state issues between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, an amicable solution needs to be arrived at between the two states.’’
Prajwal told The New Indian Express that the “amicable solution’’ has not been mentioned by the Supreme Court in its order and wondered where it cropped up from. The minister’s reply also stated, “The MoEF, after examination of the issues and in consultation with the Ministry of Jal Shakti, has decided to consider the proposal for grant of terms of reference only after acceptance of Draft Pre-feasibility Report by the Ministry of Jal Shakti and Cauvery Water Management Authority.’’