‘Tamil Nadu won’t allow Mekedatu dam across Cauvery’

March 30th, 2012 - 8:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, March 30 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Friday assured the state assembly that her government would not permit neighbouring Karnataka to build a dam across the river Cauvery at Mekedatu.

“Karnataka cannot build a dam without getting Tamil Nadu’s consent. If Karnataka tries to build a dam, Tamil Nadu will not permit it under any circumstances,” she said in her reply to a special mention on the Cauvery water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

According to the chief minister, the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation Ltd (NHPCL) had proposed hydel power projects at Sivasamudram, Mekedatu, Rasimanal and Hogenakkal lying between the Krishnarajasagar Dam in Karnataka and Mettur Dam in Tamil Nadu across the Cauvery.

While giving its nod to the proposal, the Tamil Nadu government in 2004 stipulated that permission for setting up of power projects at Sivasamudram and Hogenakkal should be obtained in the first phase and construction work should start simultaneously.

In the second phase, permission for the other two power projects should be obtained and work on the same should start simultaneously.

Though the Karnataka government initially gave its clearance for the project, it later decided to implement them on its own as Sivasamudram and Mekedatu fall under its territory to which Tamil Nadu said that the Cauvery flows through several states and Karnataka cannot start any project on its own, Jayalalithaa said.

She said Tamil Nadu has filed a case in the Supreme Court in 2008 seeking that Karnataka be restrained from going ahead with the projects till the review petitions before it and the petitions before the Cauvery River Water Tribunal on sharing of waters were disposed off.

Jayalalithaa said Tamil Nadu had also submitted that the NHPCL or any other similar central government company can implement the four hydel power projects.

Referring to the Cauvery river water dispute with Karnataka, Jayalalithaa said she and her government will work hard in ensuring the rights of the state are protected.

She said that in order to protect the interests of Tamil Nadu and the welfare of its farmers, the government filed a case in the Supreme Court March 21 seeking to restrain Karnataka from using the water stored in its four major dams - Krishnarajasagar, Kabini, Hemavati and Harangi - for irrigation purposes during the period between February and May.

Charging Karnataka with not abiding by the final award of the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal, Jayalalithaa said Karrnataka is not releasing water to Tamil Nadu for its Kuruvai crop in June and July.

She said Karnataka is using the water in its reservoirs for summer irrigation rather than storing it for seasonal use.

Jayalalithaa said Karnataka is using 203 tmcft of water as against the tribunal’s final award of 103.240 tmcft.

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