Bengaluru, April 20: On Saturday, Karnataka witnessed yet another protest on the Mekedatu issue and normal life was crippled between dawn and dusk.
Two states, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have argued and counter argued over this issue, but then the real solution will be available only if there is a political will and the Cauvery Waters Tribunal before which this issue is pending since 2007 decides on the matter.
Brijesh Kalappa, the legal advisor to the state of Karnataka says that the construction of the dam will be beneficial to both states. In this interview with Oneindia.com, Kalappa says that if the dam comes up, the power generated will be shared with Tamil Nadu and it will be beneficial to both.
What is the exact legal status of the case?
When the Cauvery Waters Tribunal delivered its verdict in on February 2 2007, we had filed a petition before it informing that we wished to construct the dam at Mekedatu. We had also filed a special leave petition before the Supreme Court about the same.
In the tribunal we filed an 8 page petition about the project. A verdict is yet to be delivered on the same.
What is the idea of constructing this dam?
Every year we are supposed to release 192 TMC of water to Tamil Nadu on an annual basis. There is always a short fall in the months of June, July, August and September. Tamil Nadu goes up to the Supreme Court at this time.
However, what one must bear in mind is that we always make up for it. There are times when we have released excess. The issue is that sometimes there is wastage which goes into the sea. This does not benefit anyone.
What we are saying is that in the common reach of the river, we will have a regulating dam where we can produce power and will also share with Tamil Nadu. The idea is that when we get excess water, we will hold it instead of wasting it. In fact this will be a complete solution to the entire dispute.
Tamil Nadu has several objections. What are they?
Tamil Nadu says that forest cover will go if the dam were to come up. They are also asking how is this dam being built on their land.
What does Karnataka have to say about this?
What we are saying is that if the dam comes up it will provide a solution to a problem that has persisted since the past century. We are also saying that if the power is shared it will be beneficial to both.
I feel that that the centre and the tribunal need to decide on this issue. If there is a will politically the matter can easily be sorted out.
Do you think that the tribunal will decide on this issue?
Let us see. The next time when the tribunal convenes a hearing, let us see what happens then.