Moves SC to restrain Karnataka from preparing field report

The Tamil Nadu government on Friday moved the Supreme Court to stay the permission given by the Central Water Commission on November 22 to Karnataka Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Ltd to go ahead with preparation of a detailed project report for the Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir cum Drinking Water project.

In an urgent application, the State urged the Supreme Court to direct the Commission to withdraw its letter of permission and restrain Karnataka from proceeding with the preparation of the report and maintain status quo.

“The decision of CWC allowing the Karnataka Cauvery Neervari Nigam Ltd. to proceed with the preparation of a detailed project report for the proposed Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir cum Drinking Water project without properly considering the genuine and justifiable objections of the Applicant State (Tamil Nadu) is wholly unjust,” the application said.

“The attempt of Karnataka is to increase its storage capacity and enhance its irrigation which would be in gross violation of the decision of the tribunal as modified by the Supreme Court besides seriously jeopardising the rights of the inhabitants of Tamil Nadu to the flows of the inter-State Cauvery,” the application said.

Karnataka has termed the challenge of Tamil Nadu to the construction of Shivasamudram and Mekedatu hydro power projects as “misconceived, obstructive and factually baseless.”

It has argued that the construction of the two reservoirs across the Cauvery will neither diminish the river’s downstream flows nor jeopardise livelihoods.

Karnataka said the construction of the two projects was consistent with the final order of the Cauvery River Tribunal passed on February 5, 2007 and notified on February 19, 2013.

Rejecting Tamil Nadu’s claims that the tribunal order barred the projects, the State government claimed in its counter affidavit filed recently that the two projects were within the territory of Karnataka and would not affect the downstream flows of the river.

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