Tamilnadu Chief Minister M K Stalin asks his Karnataka counterpart not to pursue Mekedatu project

Tamilnadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Sunday urged his Karnataka counterpart B S Yediyurappa not to pursue the Mekedatu project, a day after the latter requested him to not oppose that initiative.

Rejecting Karnataka’s stand that implementation of this project would not affect the interests of Tamil Nadu farmers, Stalin, in a letter to Yediyurappa, said that this view cannot be agreed upon and listed the reasons for it. On Saturday, the Karnataka Chief Minister appealed to Stalin in a letter to not oppose the Mekedatu balancing reservoir-cum-drinking water project and also proposed bilateral meeting to clear apprehensions.

The Mekedatu project would “impound and divert” the uncontrolled water flow due to Tamil Nadu from Kabini sub-basin, the catchment area below Krishnarajasahara, and also from Simsha, Arkavathy and Suvernavathy sub-basins besides other small streams, Stalin said.

The uncontrolled water flow is one of the three components contributing to the annual quantum of water to be delivered by Karnataka to Tamil Nadu and this has been identified in the Cauvery tribunal order as modified by the Supreme Court. “Therefore, the view that the implementation of Mekedatu project would not affect the interests of Tamil Nadus farming community cannot be agreed to by us.”

On Yediyurappa referring to TN initiatives like two hydropower projects, Stalin said comparison of Mekedatu project intended for storing of 67.16 TMC water, with the two hydropower projects of Tamil Nadu would not be correct. There is no consumption of water in these two hydropower projects, with the available water being re-circulated by pumping to meet peak power demand. Since there is no additional usage created, both the projects do not affect the availability of water for irrigation or drinking usage in Tamil Nadu. “Hence, I wish to again emphasise that the comparison of such qualitatively different projects is not appropriate.”