K’taka CM appeals to Stalin not to oppose Mekedatu project
Bengaluru: Weeks after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin opposed the construction of the Mekedatu project across the river Cauvery, Karnataka CM B.S. Yediyurappa on Saturday wrote a letter to the former urging him not to oppose the project and also offered to hold bilateral meetings between both states to sort out contentious issues.
The Mekedatu is a balancing reservoir project across the Cauvery river. Mekedatu, meaning “goat’s leap”, is a deep gorge situated at the confluence of the river Cauvery and its tributary Arkavathi in Kanakapura taluk of Ramanagar district.
The project aims to store and supply water for drinking purposes for Bengaluru city. Around 400 megawatts (MW) of power is also proposed to be generated through the project and Karnataka had announced this project in 2013.
On June 18, Tamil Nadu CM had opposed this project when Karnataka CM Yediyurappa had tweeted stating that the state was gearing up to start work on Mekedatu project.
In this context, Yediyurappa has written a two-page letter to his counterpart in Tamil Nadu.
In his letter, Yediyurappa said that the implementation of this project would in no way affect the interests of the farming communities of Tamil Nadu.
Yediyurappa pointed out that Tamil Nadu had moved the apex court against the project. “Karnataka, too, has filed an application before the union government seeking approval for Terms of Reference (ToR) to conduct Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) studies,” he said.
The CM further stated that Tamil Nadu itself had taken up two hydro-power projects at Kundah and Sillahalla in the Bhavani sub-basin of Cauvery. “Tamil Nadu has neither entered into any kind of negotiations nor secured consent from Karnataka for the above projects in Cauvery basin,” Yediyurappa stated.
“In these circumstances, I am to state that it would be in the interest of all concerned and to have a better relationship between the state of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, if the Tamil Nadu government in the right spirit would not oppose the implementation of the project,” Yediyurappa said.
“In order to address issues, if any, it is suggested that a bilateral meeting could also be held in the presence of concerned officials to clear all apprehensions,” he suggested.
According to Yediyurappa, who also holds the water resources portfolio, the Mekedatu balancing reservoir-cum-drinking water project will regulate the flow of water to Tamil Nadu as per the final orders of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal (CWDT) and the Supreme Court. This will be used to generate 400 MW power and utilise 4.75 tmc water for Bengaluru. “Overall, this project would immensely benefit both the states.”