The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday strongly opposed Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar’s reported remarks on his state going ahead with the construction of a reservoir across river Cauvery at Mekedatu, expressing surprise over his ‘teasing’ the neighbour within days of coming to power.
State Minister for Water Resources Duraimurugan sought to remind Shivakumar that the proposed project in Karnataka found no mention in the order of the Cauvery disputes tribunal or the Supreme Court’s final verdict.
“I am surprised that Shivakumar is resorting to teasing a neighbouring state within days of being sworn-in (as deputy CM). I believe the officials have not explained the full details of Mekedatu,” he said in a statement here.
Duraimurugan, the senior most minister in the State Cabinet after Chief Minister M K Stalin, was responding to reports in a section of media that claimed Shivakumar expressed his government’s resolve to construct the balancing reservoir across the inter-state Cauvery at Mekedatu. Tamil Nadu and Karnataka were locked in a dispute over the sharing of river water.
The said project or any other unapproved construction will affect Tamil Nadu’s interests, Duraimurugan added.
“It is not welcome to say that the reservoir will be constructed in the uncontrolled intermediate catchment area where TN has its rights,” he added.
“Tamil Nadu will oppose at all levels, if Karnataka’s plans to construct the reservoir at Mekedatu. Soon there will be an opportunity to meet you. I think the issue can be discussed in detail then. I think honourable Shivakumar will remain patient till then,” Duraimurugan told the neighbouring state’s deputy Chief Minister.
The Mekedatu multipurpose (drinking and power) project involves building a balancing reservoir near Kanakapura in Ramanagara district of Karnataka.
The project once completed is aimed at ensuring drinking water to Bengaluru and neighbouring areas (4.75 TMC) and generate 400 MW power. The estimated cost of the project is ₹9,000 crore.
Incidentally, Shivakumar, who represents Kanakapura, had undertaken a ‘padayatra’ (footmarch) in January last year, demanding for the implementation of the project. His party, the Congress was in the Opposition then.