Don't accord clearances to Mekedatu project: EPS to Centre

5 Jul 2017

The Tamil Nadu government today asked the Centre not to accord any clearance to projects taken up in the Cauvery basin until all the issues related to the sharing of river waters are settled. Citing media reports that Karnataka had approached the Central Water Commission seeking technical clearance for the Mekedatu dam project, Chief Minister K Palaniswami requested Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti not to approve such proposals. "I request you to kindly issue instructions to the officials concerned not to accord techno-economic clearance to Mekedatu or any project in the Cauvery basin till the concurrence of all the co-basin states is obtained," he said in a letter to the minister. "The ministries concerned may be requested not to give any forest, environment clearances to the Mekedatu project or any other project in the Cauvery Basin of Karnataka till all the issues on the Cauvery water dispute are finally settled," he said. Palaniswami alleged that Karnataka had "unilaterally" sent a detailed project report on the Mekedatu project to the Commission seeking clearance, in violation of the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and without obtaining the concurrence of the Tamil Nadu government.
He also mentioned his earlier letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the Karnataka government had planned to construct a reservoir at Mekedatu. "I wrote to the prime minister on February 25, 2017 to advise the Central Water Commission not to accord techno- economic clearance for Mekedatu or any other projects in the Cauvery basin of Karantaka till the whole issue is settled," he said. This was reiterated in the memorandum presented to the prime minister on February 27, 2017, he added. Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had on July 3 rejected the charge by Tamil Nadu political parties that the state had submitted "false details" to the Centre on the proposed Mekedatu dam project across the Cauvery river. The intention behind the reservoir is to facilitate the release of water to Tamil Nadu as per the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal order, he had said. The Supreme Court will on July 11 commence the final hearing of the appeals by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala against the 2007 award of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal on the sharing of water. The court will continue the hearing for 15 consecutive working days.(PTI)