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Karnataka Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar Writes to Tamil Nadu CM Seeking Time to Explain Mekedatu Project Details

The letter was sent on the sidelines of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy meeting with former CMs and former ministers of water resources to discuss the water disputes and various irrigation projects.

Revathi Rajeevan | CNN-News18

Updated:December 6, 2018, 7:47 PM IST
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Karnataka Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar Writes to Tamil Nadu CM Seeking Time to Explain Mekedatu Project Details
River Cauvery in Mekedatu, Karnataka. Courtesy: WikimediaCommons
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Bengaluru: A day after Tamil Nadu government filed a contempt petition against the Central Water Commission and Karnataka water resources minister DK Shivakumar in connection with the Mekedatu dam project, he has written to the Tamil Nadu CM seeking time to explain the project details.

The letter was sent on the sidelines of Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy meeting with former CMs and former ministers of water resources to discuss the water disputes and various irrigation projects.

"The Karnataka government desires an amicable solution to the Mekedatu issue. Further, this project will also help in regulating the releases in such a judicious manner that the excess water during good monsoon is not allowed to flow from the Mettur dam into the sea. But, it appears that some misconceptions about the proposed project have occurred in the minds of the government and people of Tamil Nadu though the reality is different," read Shivakumar’s letter.

Speaking to the media after Thursday’s meeting, the water resources minister said that while the Karnataka government was ordered to provide only 177.25 tmc (thousand million cubic feet) of Cauvery water by the Supreme Court, they had released 395 tmc to Tamil Nadu this year.

"They used only 150 tmc and the rest went to the sea," he said. He also argued that the balancing reservoir would avoid this in future and alleged that the Tamil Nadu government was putting political pressure to drop the project plan.

Immediately after the Central Water Commission gave its nod for preparing a detailed project report in November much against the Tamil Nadu government's opposition, CM Edappadi Palanisamy had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to direct the CWC to withdraw its permission to the Karnataka government.

The Tamil Nadu government's main concern has been that the Mekedatu project would use water for irrigation and this would adversely affect their share of the Cauvery water. Shivakand saided this and said that neither do they plan to use the water for irrigation nor do they have an opportunity for it.

On Tuesday, opposition parties in Tamil Nadu held a protest in Trichy against the project with DMK president MK Stalin warning the PM that he would not be allowed to enter Tamil Nadu if he supported the project. A special session of the Tamil Nadu Assembly has also been convened on Thursday to discuss the issue.
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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