With the opposition turning the heat on the state government for its failure to prevail upon the Centre on the Mekedatu issue, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday attacked the Narendra Modi government for granting permission to Karnataka, without getting the consent of Tamil Nadu, to prepare a detailed project report for the reservoir.
The Union government should have treated both states equally, he said. “The unilateral action of the Centre, without considering the representations of Tamil Nadu in the Cauvery water dispute, causes anguish,” Palaniswami said, recalling the numerous representations made to the Centre during the tenures of J Jayalalithaa, O Panneerselvam and himself, seeking Centre’s intervention to stop the neighbouring state from going ahead with the multi-crore project that would leave Tamil Nadu in distress. The Mekedatu reservoir will impound intermediate flows among Krishnarajasagar, Kabini dam and Biligundulu, the inter-state border.
Palaniswami said his government on Wednesday filed a contempt petition against the Central Water Commission and the Karnataka government for flouting the apex court order. “When we all expected to get our due share of Cauvery after a long legal battle, the commission’s nod to Karnataka has infuriated us. All of us in Tamil Nadu are opposing it strongly,” he said, moving a resolution. In a letter to TN in 2014, Karnataka had said it would not construct the dam without informing SC. Later, when Karnataka allocated ?25 crore to prepare a project report, 55 MPs from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry met Modi in March 2015 demanding necessary action.
Palaniswami also hit out at the chairman of the Cauvery Water Management Authority, S Masood Husain, who is also chairman of the CWC, for giving nod to Karnataka, while maintaining that Tamil Nadu’s consent was required for the project. “The Supreme Court had allocated 14.75tmcft of Cauvery water additionally to meet Bengaluru’s water needs. Despite getting additional water, the move of Karnataka to build 67tmcft capacity reservoir is nothing but an ulterior motive to make Tamil Nadu a desert. The CWC extending support to this is condemnable,” the chief minister said. Karnataka water resources minister D K Shivakumar’s frequent inspections at Mekedatu were unnecessary and only served to inflame the passions of Tamils, he said.