Chennai: Expressing its strong opposition, the Tamilnadu government reiterated that it will never allow Karnataka to build the Mekedatu dam across river Cauvery, Water Resources Minister Duraimurugan said.
In a statement, he referred to the petitions filed by Tamilnadu pending in the Supreme Court and said the government would consult legal experts and take appropriate action.
He said the State government has filed a petition in the Apex Court in November 2018, seeking a stay to the permission granted by the Central Water Commission (CWC) To Karnataka to go ahead with the preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for constructing the new dam.
He said the Mekedatu issue was not taken up for discussions during three meetings of the Cauvery Water Management Authority following objections from Tamilnadu.
Durumurugan’s statement comes in the backdrop of National Green Tribunal (NGT), Southern Zone, taking suo motu cognisance of a media report on unauthorised construction activities in Mekedatu and appointing a joint committee to look into allegations of unauthorised construction activity taking place in Mekedatu, where the Karnataka government had proposed to construct a dam across the River Cauvery.
The NGT has directed the panel to submit a report on or before 5 July. “If the project is to be implemented without conducting any environmental impact assessment study and without obtaining necessary clearance, if any required, then it will be an unauthorized act affecting the environment,” the NGT said.
Considering the allegations made in the news report, “we are satisfied that there arises a substantial question of environment, which requires the interference of this Tribunal,” it added.
The NGT also directed the joint committee to assess the damage caused to the environment in case of any construction made and determine the compensation payable by the respective authorities who are responsible.
The NGT has issued a notice communicating its decision to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Department of Water Resources, Central Water Commission, Cauvery Water Management Authority, Chief Secretaries of Tamilnadu and Karnataka, among others.