Supreme Court declines to stay DPR for Mekedatu project

The petition came up before Justice A. M. Khanwilkar and Justice Ajay Rastogi.

Chennai: In a setback to Tamil Nadu on the proposed Mekedatu dam project, the Supreme Court has declined to stay the permission granted to Karnataka for preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) to construct a new dam across the Cauvery River. However, the court issued notices to Karnataka, Central Water Commission (CWC) and Union Government to file their responses within a month.

“No stay as of now,” the top court said on Wednesday after hearing Tamil Nadu’s petition to put on hold “the operation of approval given by CWC on November 22” to Karnataka.

On last Thursday, the State Assembly passed a resolution moved by Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami urging the Centre to direct Karnataka government “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 State suspected that through the proposed project Karnataka intends to extend the area under irrigation thus depriving the due share of water to Tamil Nadu farmers from the inter-state river. The Karnataka government, however, maintained that the proposed dam was only a balancing reservoir meant to generate electricity and to ensure water to TN besides ensure drinking water for Bengaluru.

The petition came up before Justice A. M. Khanwilkar and Justice Ajay Rastogi. “When the case is again taken up after five weeks, we will place our arguments as to how the project is against the modified Tribunal Order of the Supreme Court delivered in February 2018,” said the counsellor for Tamil Nadu. Counsellors from Karnataka submitted that it would take a year to prepare the DPR.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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