Updated: July 8, 2021 3:26:15 pm
Back from New Delhi where he had gone to raise the Mekadatu dam issue, Tamil Nadu water resources minister Durai Murugan reiterated that Karnataka could not build the reservoir across Cauvery without the state’s concurrence.
Durai Murugan reached Chennai on Wednesday after holding a meeting Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. He claimed that the minister had informed him that Karnataka only had the permission to prepare a Detailed Project Report (DPR), and they cannot construct the reservoir based just on that.
“The Union minister said there are 1,000 issues surrounding the project and hence they (Karnataka) cannot build a reservoir just like that. He said the central government won’t be watching it silently,” Murugan told the reporters.
Duraimurugan added that he also spoke about the issue of Karnataka unilaterally constructing a dam across the Markandeya river. “As per Supreme Court directives, the Centre should have constituted a tribunal. We have been fighting for over two years. I asked the Union minister whether he had any reluctance in forming the tribunal, and he said he will look into the issue immediately,” Duraimurugan added.
He said the state will proceed legally to stop any attempt by the Karnataka government to construct the reservoir at Mekadatu.
Meanwhile, AIADMK leader and former deputy chief minister of Tamil Nadu, O Pannerselvam, on Thursday issued a statement condemning Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa for instructing his officials to go ahead with the Mekadatu project.
He said the Karnataka government is acting in a manner disrespectful of the final award of the Cauvery Water Management Authority, while the matter is still before the Supreme Court. “On behalf of the AIADMK, I condemn the Karanataka Chief Minister for saying that no one can stop them from constructing the reservoir. His claim of constructing a reservoir at Mekadatu has caused deep misery to Tamil people, especially the farmers. This will affect Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery water. The project should be halted,” OPS said.
Yediyurappa, on the other hand, repeated his government would implement the project and “the people of the state should have no doubts about it”. “Things are favourable for us in this regard, there is no question of halting it for any reason. We will implement the Mekedatu project within the legal framework and complete it, no one can stop it,” Yediyurappa said.
“I had requested the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu to implement the project in a friendly manner as it will benefit both states, but for some reasons he did not respond properly. But still, we will go ahead with the Mekedatu project, let people of the state have no doubt about it,” he added.
With inputs from Darshan Devaiah BP
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