Tamil Nadu Assembly Passes Resolution Against Centre's Nod for Karnataka's Mekedatu Dam
The Tamil Nadu Assembly urged the Union Ministry of Water Resources "to immediately order the Central Water Commission to withdraw the permission given to Karnataka for preparing the DPR."
River Cauvery in Mekedatu, Karnataka. Courtesy: WikimediaCommons
Chennai: The Tamil Nadu Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution unanimously urging the Centre to withdraw the permission given to Karnataka for a detailed project report for its proposed dam across river Cauvery at Mekedattu.
A specially convened session of the assembly passed the resolution moved by Chief Minister K Palaniswami Thursday evening after a brief discussion.
It urged the Union Ministry of Water Resources "to immediately order the Central Water Commission 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.
Earlier on Thursday, Karnataka water resources minister DK Shivakumar in connection with the Mekedatu dam project, had 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 Mekedattu 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.
The Tamil Nadu Assembly was adjourned sine die after the adoption of the resolution. The session was convened following demands by the opposition parties led by the DMK, which had organised a protest on the issue Tuesday in Tiruchirappalli.
The AIADMK government and the opposition parties have opposed the Centre's nod for the DPR, holding that the proposed dam would affect the rights of the lower riparian Tamil Nadu.
Chief Minister Edapappadi K Palaniswami said that the AIADMK has opposed the project since 2013 and had passed resolutions against in December 2014 and March 2015.
While in a show of solidarity with the issue, DMK chief MK Stalin said support to the resolution “was beyond politics”, independent candidate TTV Dinakaran said that the state government is a ‘branch of the Centre’ and the resolution is just for ‘formality’ sake.
This resolution comes a day after the Tamil Nadu government filed a contempt petition against the Central Water Commission and Karnataka water resources minister DK Shivakumar.
Tamil Nadu Government had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to direct the CWC to withdraw its permission to Karnataka government.
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