CHENNAI: Dismissing the objection raised by Karnataka for Phase II of the Hogenakkal Drinking Water Project to be implemented at a cost of Rs 4,600 crore, Water Resources Minister Durai Murugan on Saturday said, "Tamil Nadu has legal rights to implement the project as per the orders of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) and the Supreme Court."
Karnataka CM Basavaraj Bommai on Saturday, after a virtual meeting with his cabinet colleagues, said the State is preparing to take on Tamil Nadu on interstate river disputes and an all-party meeting will be held in the first week of February.
Bommai said that the government has already raised objection to the Hogenakkal drinking water project and inter-linking of rivers planned by TN. "We have already filed petitions before the SC. We have appealed to the Central Water Commission not to approve these projects," he said.
Saturday's meeting discussed legal disputes related to Krishna and Cauvery river basins, and the Mahadayi project.
Meanwhile, referring to the objections raised by Karnataka Water Resources Minister Govind Karjol to the project announced by Chief Minister MK Stalin on January 20, Durai Murugan said, "When the CWDT gave its final verdict on February 5, 2007, it had allocated water based on the Cauvery irrigation area to each of the riparian States."
The final verdict had also specified that 2.2 tmcft of water could be for consumptive use. Tamil Nadu got 25.71 tmcft of water based on permitted irrigation schemes and 2011 census. This was also upheld by the SC in 2018.
As per Clause 18 of the final verdict of the CWDT, Tamil Nadu has been given the right to utilise water for drinking requirements. "If water is released from any reservoir for domestic consumption, distribution for local bodies and industries, etc, that would be accounted against the State concerned. This has been clarified in the final verdict of the CWDT," the minister added.