Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palanisami on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to direct the Union Water Resources Ministry not to clear Karnataka’s feasibility report on building a dam across Cauvery in Megadatu .
He said the dam would affect the natural flow of Cauvery to downstream States and was in violation of the tribunal award and the final order of the Supreme Court which had prescribed the quantity of water to be shared by the basin States.
He said any such dam project required the prior concurrence of downstream States, but Karnataka had bypassed Tamil Nadu and directly approached the Central Water Commission for clearance of its feasibility report.
The Chief Minister said the Centre Water Commission ought not to have taken up study of the feasibility report in the first place. It should have asked Karnataka to get the consent of Tamil Nadu and other co-basin States.
The Rs 5,912 crore project involves construction of a balance reservoir across Cauvery in Megadatu which will have a hydro-electric station with a capacity to generate 400 m w. power and which will also meet the drinking water requirements of Bengaluru and Mandya.
He said that “in a federal structure, no upper riparian State should the unilaterally interfere with natural flow of inter-state river without the consent and concurrence of lower riparian States”.
“The decision of Karnataka to go ahead with the project without the concurrence of other basin States has caused great alarm and apprehension among the people of Tamil Nadu as it will affect the livelihood of lakhs of farmers who depend on Cauvery water”, he said.
He requested the Prime Minister to direct the Central Water Commission through the Water Resoruces Ministry to stop processing the feasibility report and not to give consent to any project in Cauvery without getting the prior concurrence of Tamil Nadu and other basin States.
Karnataka has refuted Tamil’s contention that the proposed Megadatu dam would be a violation of the tribunal’s ward Karnataka’s Irrigation Minister M B Patil has said the tribunal has itself allowed the State to use up to 190 t.m.cft and generate upto 400 mw power.
Karnataka submitted its feasibility report to the Central Water Commission on June 30. Obviously, Tamil Nadu woke up only after the commission sent the report to other basin States, including Kerala and Puducherry, for their comments.