Karnataka’s plan for a balancing reservoir against orders of Cauvery tribunal and SC, contends CM
Reiterating its opposition to Karnataka’s plan to construct a balancing reservoir-cum-drinking water project at Mekedatu across the Cauvery, Tamil Nadu on Thursday urged the Centre not to entertain a fresh proposal submitted by the neighbouring State.
Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami wrote to Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar and Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in this regard.
“The government of Tamil Nadu once again reiterates its strong objections to Karnataka’s project proposal, as it has no right to construct any reservoir on an inter-State river without the consent of the lower riparian State, i.e. Tamil Nadu,” Mr. Palaniswami contended.
The Chief Minister also requested both the Union Ministers to instruct their respective departments to issue instructions to the Expert Appraisal Committee for River Valley and Hydroelectric Projects not to entertain Karnataka’s proposal.
Karnataka has submitted a detailed project report seeking grant of terms of reference to conduct an environmental impact assessment for the contentious Mekedatu project.
Mr. Palaniswami also underlined Tamil Nadu’s earlier objections to the project, as it was “against the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) and the judgment of the Supreme Court, dated February 16, 2018”.
The CWDT and the Supreme Court had found that the existing storage facilities available in the Cauvery basin were adequate for storing and distributing water to the lower riparian States, as per the monthly schedule prescribed by it, he recalled.
“Therefore, the proposal submitted by Karnataka to build a reservoir is ex facie untenable and ought to be rejected outright. Further, the concurrence of Tamil Nadu and other co-basin States has not been obtained for the project,” Mr. Palaniswami contended.
Tamil Nadu has filed a miscellaneous application before the Supreme Court against Karnataka’s proposal for constructing a reservoir across the Cauvery and also a contempt petition against all concerned. The matters are pending before the Supreme Court.
The Expert Appraisal Committee for River Valley and Hydroelectric Projects, in the meeting held in July, had deferred Karnataka’s proposal for the Mekedatu project.