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Business News/ News / India/  Mekedatu project: Karnataka's Deputy CM Shivakumar urges Tamil Nadu to ‘be generous’; says ‘will not trouble you’

Karnataka's Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar on Thursday urged the Tamil Nadu government to support the construction of the Mekedatu balancing reservoir near Kanakapura. Shivakumar, who hails from Kanakapura and is an MLA from there, emphasised that the Karnataka government will take necessary steps for the project's implementation and cited that the reservoir would not only benefit Bengaluru but also the farmers in Tamil Nadu.

Shivakumar noted that 1,000 crore was earmarked for the Mekedatu reservoir project after Congress marched for water (in 2021). However, the project is yet to start and the new government will have to make the requisite preparations. 

Noting that the project will not create any problems for Tamil Nadu, Shivakumar said, "It’s not that we have any hatred for Tamil Nadu or wage a war against it. Those residing there are our brethren and their brethren are here as well. So, there is no scope for hatred or jealousy. It is our project. It will benefit them as well. We have to help all the farmers in the Cauvery basin."

Shivakumar pointed out there are orders that state how much water Karnataka has to release.

"We will store water and supply it to Bengaluru. It has been approved in the Cauvery Tribunal award. So there is no need to panic," the Deputy Chief Minister said.

"I request you (Tamil Nadu government) that we will not trouble you. Be generous. We too are generous. We are neighbouring states. We have fought enough and seen enough legal battles. It never helps. May we deal with it harmoniously? It will help in providing drinking water and benefit your farmers as well," Shivakumar said, as quoted by Decan Herald. 

The Mekedatu multi-purpose project in Karnataka involves constructing a reservoir near Kanakapura to provide drinking water to Bengaluru and neighboring areas while generating 400 MW of power. Karnataka asserts that the project will benefit both states as surplus water can be shared during times of distress without impacting Tamil Nadu's water allocation. However, Tamil Nadu argues that the project will impound and divert uncontrolled water flow from various sub-basins, including the Kabini, Simsha, Arkavathy, and Suvarnavathi, affecting its water availability.

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Updated: 02 Jun 2023, 11:03 AM IST
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