Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Tuesday assured the Tamil Nadu Assembly that the state government would not allow construction of a reservoir across river Cauvery at Mekedatu in Karnataka. When DMK deputy leader Duraimurugan raised reported efforts by Karnataka to persuade the Centre for early approval to build a balancing reservoir at Mekedatu, Palaniswami said the Supreme Court's judgment on the Cauvery issue is clear.
As per the verdict, the "water due for Tamil Nadu should be fully released. Not only that, but the water shall also not be blocked or diverted," the Chief Minister said. Karnataka's repeated bid to bring up the Mekedatu proposal for discussion in the Cauvery Water Management Authority was halted given staunch opposition from Tamil Nadu, he said.
"A case related to this is in the Supreme Court. I would like to convey categorically to the deputy leader that the Tamil Nadu government would never allow them (Karnataka)to construct Mekedatu dam," he asserted. Also, Palaniswami said the Supreme Court's judgment would help establish Tamil Nadu's rights in the issue.
According to the draft Terms of Reference of the proposal (2019), the Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir and drinking water Project involves construction of a balancing reservoir across river Cauvery near Mekedatu in Karnataka. While the project cost is estimated at Rs 9,000 crore, the proposal is aimed at providing drinking water facilities to Bengaluru Metropolitan region and its surrounding areas (4.75 TMC) and generate 400 MW of power as an additional benefit.
Tamil Nadu had all along strongly opposed the project and approached the Supreme Court as well saying any dam proposal by upper riparian states in the Cauvery basin would deprive the state's delta farmers of their rightful share of water as per the apex court verdict.