The Cauvery issue has once again come to centrestage, with the Tamilnadu government Monday seeking the Centre’s ‘urgent’ intervention on the Mekedatu reservoir row, saying Karnataka seeking environmental clearance for the project was in violation of an award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and a Supreme Court judgement. Tamilnadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to reject the Mekedatu dam project proposal put forth by Karnataka. ‘The Government of Tamilnadu has been conveying its strong objections and has been urging the Government of India to reject outright and return the detailed project report of the Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir Project of Karnataka,’ Palaniswami said.
Urging the PM to direct the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to ‘reject outright’ Karnataka’s proposal, Palaniswami sought Modi’s ‘urgent personal intervention’ to deny permission to the proposal of Karnataka’s Cauvery Neeravari Nigama Niyamita seeking environmental clearance for the Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir and drinking water project. ‘This action of Karnataka in seeking environmental clearance for Mekedatu project is in utter violation of the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and the 16 February 2018, judgement of the Supreme Court. I request you to direct the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to reject the proposal of Karnataka,’ the Chief Minister said.
The Tamilnadu government has been conveying its strong objections and urging the Central government to reject and return the detailed project report of the Mekedatu reservoir project. The Mekedatu project is not a designated reservoir for the release of water from Karnataka to Tamilnadu in terms of the Cauvery Tribunal final order as modified by the Supreme Court. Further, Karnataka has not obtained the concurrence of the governments of Tamilnadu and other co-basin States. The final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal was obtained after a long legal fight that lasted decades. It is the duty of all stakeholders to respect, protect and stick by it.