Mekedatu dam project will bring good fortune: K’taka Minister DK Shivkumar

Mekedatu: Karnataka Minister DK Shivakumar on Friday asserted that the Mekedatu Dam project will bring good fortune to the people of the state.

During his visit to the site where the dam will be constructed on Friday, Shivakumar said: “No water is going to be drained out. Ninety per cent of the area which will be affected comes under government. The project will help in generating 440 MW of power. It will bring good fortune.” He visited the site following the central government’s preliminary approval for the project.

On December 6, Shivakumar called for an amicable solution to the long pending Cauvery water sharing dispute with Tamil Nadu. “The Government of Karnataka desires to have an amicable solution to the issue of Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir-cum-Drinking Water project,” said Shivakumar in a letter to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi K Palaniswami.

“You (Palaniswami) are aware that the river Cauvery is the lifeline of both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and is very sacred for the people of both the states. Governments and people of both the states desire to have a permanent solution on the issues pertaining to Cauvery,” he said in the letter.

On the same day, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president MK Stalin, however, said that the party will not accept the Centre’s stand on permitting the Karnataka government to construct a reservoir across river Cauvery at Mekedatu.

Speaking to media, Stalin said, “We cannot accept central government’s stand on permitting Karnataka government to construct a reservoir in Mekedatu. We agree to move a resolution on Mekedatu but we also recommend a resolution on condemning the BJP government for giving permission to Karnataka.

This water dispute dates back to the 1970s and has its origin in two agreements signed between the erstwhile Madras Presidency and the Princely State of Mysore in 1892 and 1924 in which it was decided to divide the river water between the two states, which lapsed in 1974.

Tamil Nadu had then asked the Congress-ruled government at the Centre to form a tribunal to look into the diversion of water and ensure that it gets its due share. When the Centre did not pay heed to Tamil Nadu’s demand, it approached the Supreme Court, which, in May 1990, ordered the creation of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

In its later order, the apex court had pronounced that Karnataka is given an additional 14.75 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) of the river water while 177.25 TMC of water be released for Tamil Nadu. The allocation of Karnataka which used to be 270 TMC has been increased to 284.75 TMC.