The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Thursday adopted a resolution unanimously urging the Centre to rescind the permission granted to Karnataka for a detailed project report on Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir and Drinking Water Project – proposed across the Cauvery in Karnataka’s Ramanagaram district with its tail in Tamil Nadu.
Following a brief discussion, a specially convened session of the assembly passed the resolution moved by Chief Minister K Palaniswami. It called on the Union Ministry of Water Resources “to immediately order the Central Water Commission (CWC) to withdraw the permission given to Karnataka for preparing the DPR.”
“…this House requests the Government of India to direct Karnataka not to take up any construction works by it or through its agencies at Mekedatu or at any other place in the Cauvery basin of Karnataka State… without the consent of Tamil Nadu…,” the resolution said.
The assembly was adjourned sine die after the adoption of the resolution.
The session was convened following protests and massive public meetings by Opposition parties, including the DMK, accusing the Centre of favouring Karnataka and failing to protect the interests of Tamil Nadu despite their frequent meetings with the PM and BJP ministers.
Addressing reporters, DMK president M K Stalin slammed the Centre for giving the nod to Karnataka. “We cannot accept Central Government’s stand on permitting Karnataka government to construct a reservoir in Mekedatu. We agree to move a resolution on Mekedatu but we also recommend a resolution on condemning BJP govt for giving permission to Karnataka,” he said.
On Tuesday, Stalin had stated that the party will not let Modi enter Tamil Nadu if his government goes ahead with the project. “PM Modi, please remember that if you betray Tamil Nadu on the Mekedatu project and fail to save the people, we will create a situation in which you will never come here,” Stalin had said.
The Karnataka government, on the other hand, asserted that the proposed Mekedatu project was the “right” of the state and its “lifetime dream”. However, it sought to reach out to Tamil Nadu, which is strongly opposed to the scheme.
“It is the right of our state, we don’t want to fight or have misunderstanding with anyone on this issue. It is a balancing reservoir, there is no question of us misusing it,” Karnataka water resources minister D K Shivakumar told reporters. “We request them (Tamil Nadu), they are like our brothers, we are friends.. we have to share this water… we don’t want to fight with them,” he said in response to a question about Tamil Nadu rejecting the state’s request for talks to clear doubts on the project.
Tamil Nadu has maintained that the project will affect water flow in Cauvery. It has argued that the CWC nod was a violation of the Supreme Court’s order on Cauvery water-sharing issue and moved to file a contempt petition against the CWC chairman, Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and Karnataka Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar for violating the Supreme Court order on the issue.
Recently, CM Palaniswami had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi drawing his attention to Tamil Nadu’s opposition and seeking withdrawal of the permission given to Karnataka.
With PTI, ANI inputs