Chennai: Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, opposing Karnataka’s “unilateral” action in seeking the Central Water Commission’s clearance to a feasibility report for a Rs 5,912 crore reservoir at Mekedatu on the Cauvery river.
He said approaching the CWC was in “violation” of the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.
Pointing out that Karnataka as the upper riparian state had not approached Tamil Nadu for its concurrence for the Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir-cum-drinking water project, the CM sought Modi’s intervention to stop forthwith further processing of the feasibility report.
“I would like to point out that this action of Karnataka is in violation of the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and the Supreme Court and also in contravention to the directives of the Government of India to share the plans with the co-basin states for their consent before proposing any new schemes,” Palaniswami said.
He said Karnataka’s proposal to build a reservoir at Mekedatu would amount to a “clear violation” of the final order of the Tribunal and a Supreme Court order on water for consumptive use by stakeholder states. “The proposed reservoir will affect the natural flow of the river Cauvery and will nullify the final order of the Tribunal and the Supreme Court.”
“In a federal structure, no upper riparian state should unilaterally interfere with the natural flow of an inter-state river without the consent and concurrence of the lower riparian states,” he said. The Karnataka government has not approached Tamil Nadu seeking concurrence for the project, but directly approached the CWC “in contravention to the guidelines/procedure laid down by the Government of India,” Palaniswami added.
The CWC ought not to have processed the proposal and should have instead advised Karnataka to get the concurrence of Tamil Nadu and other co-basin states on the matter, he said.
“This unilateral action of Karnataka has caused great alarm and apprehension among the people of Tamil Nadu as it will affect the livelihood of lakhs of farmers who depend on Cauvery water,” he said.
Palaniswami urged Modi to instruct the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation to direct the CWC “to stop forthwith further processing” of Karnataka’s feasibility report to construct the balancing reservoir at Mekedatu. Further, the Ministry of Water Resources should be instructed that no consent should be given to any projects on river Cauvery without obtaining the prior concurrence of Tamil Nadu and other co-basin states, he added