Udayavni Special

TN’s objections to Karnataka’s irrigation projects is their “political adventure”: Basavaraj Bommai

PTI, Jul 5, 2021, 8:04 AM IST

Bengaluru: Terming Tamil Nadu’s objections to the state’s irrigation projects as “political adventure” by the new government there, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Sunday said Karnataka will fight it out legally.

He also expressed hope for a positive response to Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa’s letter to his Tamil Nadu counterpart urging him not to object to the Mekedatu project, while reiterating the state’s stand that the project will be beneficial for both the states.

“Tamil Nadu has always been objecting to Karnataka on the water issue, whether it is in the Cauvery main stream or small streams in the Cauvery basin.

After the tribunal order and constitution of the Cauvery board it has become difficult for them,” Bommai said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said the Mekedatu project will be undertaken within Karnataka’s limits, the submerged areas will be in the state’s territory, also it is a drinking water project and will in no way affect Tamil Nadu’s share of water.

“It is to utilise the surplus water after releasing their (TN) share, but still they have gone to the Supreme Court. Also from the beginning they have been raising objections on the Markandeya dam issue.

New government has taken charge (in TN), so it is their political adventure by making small things a bigger issue for their political needs.. We will fight it out legally,” he added.

Chief Minister Yediyurappa on Saturday wrote to his Tamil Nadu counterpart M K Stalin urging him not to oppose the Mekedatu project “in the right spirit” and offered to hold a bilateral meeting to address any issues.

This even as, Tamil Nadu Water Resources Minister Durai Murugan on Saturday reiterated objection to another irrigation project of Karnataka, stating that irrigation for about 870 hectares in his state’s Krishnagiri district would be affected by new dam across river Markandeya, and urged the Centre to set up a tribunal to resolve the issue.

Referring to Yediyurappa’s letter to Tamil Nadu CM on the Mekedatu project, Bommai said we hope for a positive response, as the project will be beneficial for both states.

“From the Mekedatu project, we will get drinking water, while the surplus water stored will also help them (TN) during the distress year.

Despite knowing that the project will benefit their state and also us and it is a win-win situation for both, they have objected to it in the Supreme Court and our lawyers are attending it,” he said.

Mekedatu is a Multipurpose (drinking and power) project, which involves building a balancing reservoir, near Kanakapura in Ramanagara district.

In response to Yediyurappa’s letter, Stalin on Sunday requested his Karnataka counterpart not to pursue the Mekedatu project.

Rejecting Karnataka’s stand that implementation of this project would not affect the interests of Tamil Nadu farmers, Stalin, in a letter to Yediyurappa, said that this view cannot be agreed upon.

Tamil Nadu has been vehemently opposing the project, raising apprehensions that the state will be affected if the project takes shape.

The project once completed is aimed at ensuring drinking water to Bengaluru and neighboring areas (4.75 TMC) and also can generate 400 MW power, and the estimated cost of the project is Rs 9,000 crore.

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