CHENNAI: Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has assured that the Mekedatu project can't take off without the concurrence of Tamil Nadu and steps will be taken to constitute a tribunal to investigate the dam over the Markandeya river in the Penniyar basin, said the state's Minister for Water Resources Durai Murugan.
Addressing reporters in New Delhi after emerging from a meeting with the Union Minister, Durai Murugan said he has also raised a demand for allocation of funds towards the Cauvery-Gundaru river linking project.
The minister also handed over a representation to the Union Minister raising various issues and demands related to the state's water resources. Some of the important demands are to advise the Karnataka government to immediately clear the deficit and release water to Tamil Nadu as per the schedule fixed by Supreme Court and advise the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) to take appropriate action to ensure the realization of water at Biligundlu. The minister also urged the Centre to appoint a full-time Chairman at the earliest to carry out necessary works of CWMA.
It is learnt that during the meeting, Tamil Nadu stressed that no clearance should be given for the proposed Mekedatu project without the concurrence of co-basin states. The Centre was also requested to advise Karnataka not to proceed with any activity regarding the proposed Mekedatu project. In addition, he urged the Centre to constitute a tribunal over the Markandeya river dam and advise Karnataka to stop all the ongoing work in the Pennaiyar basin.
On the river linking projects, the minister sought funds and permission for carrying out the Tamiraparani-Karumeniyar-Nambiar river linking project to enable Tamil Nadu to complete the scheme and reap the benefits early.
Seeking the release of adequate funds to the state, the representation pointed out that Tamil Nadu is carrying out repair, renovation and restoration of water bodies. The remaining central share of Rs.44.48 crores is yet to be released.