The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Monday adopted a unanimous resolution condemning Karnataka government for its ‘unilateral’ decision to proceed with the Mekedatu dam project across the Cauvery river and prevailed upon the Centre to reject the proposal.
Water resources Minister Duraimurugan who piloted the resolution accused the neighbouring state of posing problems to Tamil Nadu for decades and said Karnataka’s decision to proceed with the dam (balancing reservoir) project “disrespecting’ the Supreme court verdict is reprehensible.
“Where is federalism. Here is a state that is disrespecting the top court order and has not released the full quantum of water due for Tamil Nadu. If we don’t put up a unified struggle, then we may lose our rights and future generations will curse us,” he said and appealed to the political parties to support the resolution rising above party differences.
Accusing the Centre of meting out stepmotherly treatment towards Tamil Nadu on the issue, he claimed successive Union governments, be it the Congress or the BJP, have not prevented Karnataka from acting contrary to Tamil Nadu’s interest.
The resolution, passed with the unanimous support of all the parties including the AIADMK and the BJP condemned Karnataka for going ahead with the project, allocating funds and asked the Centre not to entertain that state’s plea for environmental clearance and reject its detailed project report (DPR).
Further, the central government should advise Karnataka to not take up any projects without the consent of the riparian states, it said.
The Mekedatu multi-purpose project involves building a balancing reservoir near Kanakapura in Ramanagara district in Karnataka. The estimated Rs 9,000 crore project once completed is aimed at ensuring drinking water to Bengaluru and neighbouring areas and it can also generate 400 MW power.
Tamil Nadu has been opposed to the project saying it would “impound and divert” the uncontrolled water flow to the state from Kabini sub-basin while Karnataka has maintained that the project within its territory will benefit both states as the surplus water stored can be managed between the two during the distress year, and its implementation will in no way affect the interests of Tamil Nadu’s farming communities, as there will be no impact on its share of water.