Basavaraj Bommai reiterates Karnataka's stand, hopes early approval of Mekedatu plan
Bengaluru/UNI: Reiterating Karnataka's no-compromise stand on taking up Mekedatu project, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday expressed hope that the central government would approve the DPR submitted by the state to construct a dam across the disputed site.
"We are hopeful that the central government will soon approve the DPR of the Mekedatu project. As soon as it gets the nod from the central government, work on the project would be taken up. There is no compromise on it," he told reporters at his residence.
Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, meanwhile in Lok Sabha, said that the DPR submitted by Karnataka to build the dam needs approval of the Cauvery Water Management Authority.
"The central government has given a conditional approval to the DPR submitted by Karnataka. However, it requires the consent of the lower riparian states of the Cauvery basin. Karnataka also has made it clear to the DPR that it needs the permission of the lower Tamil Nadu and Puducherry governments," he said.
Shekhawat made this remark in response to JDS MP Prajwal Revanna during question hour in the Lok Sabha.
Revanna asked why should Karnataka seek permission from Tamil Nadu to construct the dam over Mekedatu when the state has already submitted the proposal in this regard.
"Why should Karnataka seek permission from Tamil Nadu to build the dam over Mekedatu when a review application has been submitted to the centre. And, if the centre does not grant permission within six months of filing the review application, can it be assumed that the consent to build the dam has been obtained?" he said.
Responding to the query, Shekhawat said that if Karnataka feels that it had reached a consensus, it should be brought to the notice of the Cauvery Water Management Authority and seek its permission.
Karnataka should also wait for a response from the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests over approval of its DPR concerning the Mekedatu plan, he said. "The Ministry of Environment and Forests has been notified to review Karnataka's application and its reply is awaited," he added.
Bommai reacts to TN protests
Referring to the protests in Tamil Nadu over the issue, Bommai said the neighbouring state is using this issue for political gains and does not stand legitimacy because nobody can restrict distribution of river water for drinking purposes and generating electricity during difficult times.
"If there are protests carried out in Tamil Nadu, we have nothing to do with it. They are using the issue for political gains. It doesn't matter," he said.