Chennai: The DMK has called for an all-party meeting on Thursday to discuss the Mekedatu project, which has been planned across the Cauvery river by Karnataka government.
The call for all-party meeting comes after Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urging the Centre to withdraw its permission to Karnataka for preparing a Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the project. Reacting to the Tamil Nadu government’s demand, Karnataka Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy had asserted that the project has to come into effect.
Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan, too had earlier expressed his displeasure over the approval for the Mekedatu project as it would adversely impact many people in TN.
The DMK’s meet with its allies and friendly parties here will deliberate the issue of Central Water Commission CWC) giving its nod to Karnataka to prepare a DPR for the construction of a reservoir Balancing Reservoir-cum-Drinking water project across river Cauvery at Mekedatu.
“In order to discuss about the permission granted by the BJP-led central government to Karnataka to build a dam ac-ross river Cauvery at Mekedatu, which will affect the agriculture and drinking water supply to TN, there will be an all-party meeting on Thursday at around 10.30 am in Arivalayam,” the party announced.
The meeting is expected to chalk out a political strategy on the issue. DMK president and leader of the opposition in the Assembly M.K. Stalin had lashed out at the Centre and AIADMK government and claimed that the incumbent regime’s “negligent” attitude resulted in the Centre’s permission to Karnataka. He wanted the State government to approach the Supreme Court to obtain stay from the Centre’s permission and Karnataka’s efforts to construct a dam.
The discord on Mekedatu project has been persisting since 2013, when Karnataka announced its intent to build a multipurpose dam across Cauvery at Mekedatu in Ramanagara district. The Rs 5,912-crore project will help Karnataka to alleviate the drinking water problems of Bengaluru and Ramanagara districts and also generate hydro-electricity to meet the power needs of the state.
Immediately after the announcement, former CM J. Jayalalithaa wrote to the then PM Manmohan Singh, asking him not to clear the project as it would impact the lives of Tamil Nadu farmers who are also dependent on the Cauvery river. She also contended that the construction of a reservoir would go against the principles of federalism and said no upper riparian State can unilaterally interfere with the natural flow of an inter State river without the consent and concurrence of the lower riparian State....