Bengaluru: The fight between the two riparian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over water is surely unending. In the latest, the Tamil Nadu government has requested the Modi government to intervene in the issue reiterating that Karnataka’s request for environmental clearance was in violation of the award of the Cauvery Water disputes tribunal and a Supreme Court judgment.

Chief Minister K Palaniswami has requested the Prime Minister to direct the ministry of environment, forest and climate change to "reject outright" Karnataka's proposal.

Palaniswami said, “The Tamil Nadu government has been conveying its strong objections and been urging the Centre to reject outright and return the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Mekedatu project. The proposed project was not in conformity with the final order of the tribunal and the top court judgment since it is not a designated reservoir for the release of water from Karnataka to Tamil Nadu in terms of the tribunal's final order as modified by the apex court.”

Palaniswami added, “Karnataka has also not obtained the prior concurrence of Tamil Nadu and other co-basin states. Cauvery being a deficit basin, construction of any such project in any place by upper riparian states would drastically affect the lower riparian states in getting due share of water.”

The chief minister also requested the government thus: "Further, the ministry of Jal Shakthi may be directed to advise the central water commission to reject outright and return the DPR of the Mekedatu balancing reservoir project of Karnataka and also not accord any clearance to the above project without obtaining the prior concurrence of government of Tamil Nadu and of other co-basin states."

It might be recalled that Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy had met Union water resources minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and sought an early clearance for the project.

Kumaraswamy also maintained that there was no need to take consent from Tamil Nadu for the project.

On the other hand, Karnataka Water resources Minister DK Shivakumar has asked the Tamil Nadu CM not to play politics over the issue.


What is the Mekedatu project?

With a view to supplying drinking water to Bengaluru, the Karnataka government wants to build a reservoir across the river Cauvery near Mekedatu. Mekedatu in Kannada means ‘a goat’s leap’. Mekedatu is located in Kanakapura.

Though Tamil Nadu does have its reservations about the project, Karnataka is clear about it. It maintains that only such water will be used after it supplies around 192 tmcft to Tamil Nadu as per the Cauvery Water Tribunal order.