Central governments’ irresolute stand on this issue might deprive the State’s right over Cauvery water
Delta farmers have exhorted the Tamil Nadu government to prevent Karnataka government’s intention to impound Cauvery water by constructing a dam at Mekedatu in the initial stage itself.
The State government should not remain a mute spectator to the current developments as in the past when the upper riparian State had constructed more dams in addition to the main Krishnaraja Sagar Dam. Under the present scenario, any inertness on the part of the Tamil Nadu would pave the way for the Cauvery delta region in Tamil Nadu turning a rain-fed cultivable area, they claimed.
Participating in a demonstration here on Thursday, organised by the Cauvery Rights Retrieval Committee along with various farmers associations in the region, the Delta farmers regretted the silence on the part of Chief Minister M. K. Stalin over the recent statement of Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai defending the Karnataka’s proposal to construct a dam across River Cauvery at Mekedatu.
Talking to the media at the demonstration site, Committee president P. Maniarasan recalled how in the past the upper riparian State had constructed the Kabini, Hemavathi and Herangi dams in the Cauvery Basin without obtaining the consent of Tamil Nadu and as well as the Central government.
Alleging that a similar situation might get repeated with the irresolute stand taken on this issue by the Central government and other Central agencies, he called upon the Tamil Nadu government to oppose the Mekedatu proposal firmly at the beginning itself instead of registering the protest after completion of the project.
Referring to the justification of the project by the Karnataka Chief Minister on the grounds that it would help store surplus water during good monsoon, Mr. Maniarasan said that not more than 50 tmc of water flows into the sea whenever the entire Cauvery Delta receives good monsoon.
Such being the case, constructing a dam to impound 67.16 tmc of water would not only deprive the lower riparian regions in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry of the excessive water flow but also make the entire region below Mekedatu depend on the upper riparian State for water, he added.
The demonstrators called upon the Tamil Nadu government to ensure that the Mekedatu issue was dropped permanently as a point of discussion in the Cauvery Water Management Authority meetings.
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