The Cauvery Water Management Authority has recorded objections lodged by Tamil Nadu to the permission given by the Central Water Commission to Karnataka to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) on the proposal to build a balancing reservoir across Cauvery in Mekedatu to meet Bengaluru’s drinking water needs and for irrigation.
Masood Hussain, Chairman of the authority, told reporters in New Delhi on Monday that the Mekedatu issued was not discussed in detail at its meeting and that it was listed only for the information of the members.
He also said the Central Commission had only given the go-ahead to Karnataka to prepare the project report and it should be approved by the authority. In other words, Karnatake cannot build the dam without the approval of the authority.
In its representation, Principal Secretary in the Public Department of Tamil Nadu S K Prabhakaran said the approval had been given for the DPR without considering its objections that the dam would impede the natural flow of Cauvery downstream and thereby deprive the share of other basin States as per the final order of the tribunal as modified by the Supreme Court in its February order.
It also said TamilNadu got its share this season thanks to good monsoon in the catchment areas in Karnataka, but problems would arise in distress years. Karnataka contended that Tamil Nadu had no locus standi to object to Mekedatu . Karnataka’s Principal Secretary for Water Resources Prakash Singh said the State had clearly that the project would only store excess Cauvery water and it would not cut into Tamil Nadu’s share of water.
Masson Hussain said the next meeting of authority would be held in January 2019. Meanwhile, delta farmers who depend on Cauvery have asked the Tamil Nadu Government to call an all-party meeting to firm its objection to the project. They have said they have already been hit badly the Gaja cyclone this year and the proposed dam will affect them in the years to come.