CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday unanimously passed a resolution urging the Union government not to give clearance to Karnataka’s proposal to build a dam at Mekedatu across the Cauvery.
The resolution moved by Water Resources Minister Durai Murugan also requested the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) not to permit the project as it is against the 2018 verdict of the SC and the 2007 final award of the Cauvery Tribunal.
Thanking political parties for their undivided support, Chief Minister MK Stalin said the State would take all measures, including legal means, to oppose the project. He said the rights of Tamil Nadu farmers over Cauvery water would be protected. “Let us stand united and win,” the CM said.
Speaking at the Assembly, leaders cutting across party lines condemned the Karnataka government’s move and promised to extend cooperation to the State government in stopping Karnataka from implementing the project. The resolution said Karnataka’s action is unilateral and allocating funds for Mekedatu project cannot be accepted.
“This dispute is a sensitive one. The Centre must advice Karnataka not to construct a reservoir at Mekedatu or any other place in the Cauvery basin without the concurrence of all the riparian States and clearance of the Union government,” the resolution added.
Min anguished over never-ending Cauvery struggle
Expressing anguish over the never-ending struggle for Cauvery water, Water Resources Minister Durai Murugan said, "At every important juncture, Karnataka has been posing unfair hindrances to Tamil Nadu in getting Cauvery water. When Karnataka said the water-sharing agreement came to end in 1924, we thwarted that through legal means.
Later Karnataka opposed the formation of a tribunal to resolve the dispute and the tribunal finally gave its award. Karnataka also opposed the formation of CWMA. We won all these through legal fight." "I fear the issue will drag on to the days of our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Karnataka has not been honouring the verdicts of the Supreme Court but there is no one to question it. If a State refuses to respect the SC verdict, then where is federalism in our country? On one side Karnataka is refusing water and on the other side, Kerala is not cooperating on Mullaiperiyar dam issue.
As a solace, Andhra Pradesh has been releasing Krishna water in recent times," he said. The minister also made a fervent appeal to opposition parties, mainly the AIADMK, not to speak anything that goes against the spirit of the resolution. Durai Murugan also admitted that he himself had engaged in such talks in the past but now out of maturity he was pleading with the opposition not to make any comments that might show our disunity.
"If we lose this fight, future generations will see us in poor light. We have to be united," he added. Paying glowing tributes to former Karnataka CM SR Bommai for his democratic functioning, the minister said, "I am still confident that Basavaraj Bommai, son of SR Bommai, will do justice to Tamil Nadu on Mekedatu issue." Despite Durai Murugan’s request to not rake up any past issues, opposition leader EPS faulted the DMK for failing to resolve the Cauvery water dispute despite being a partner of the governments led by the Congress and the BJP at the Centre for many years.