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Karnataka CM Bommai meets Jal Shakti Minister over Mekedatu row with TN

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Bengaluru, Jun 17: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Friday held discussion over the Mekedatu project with Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

Before the meeting the CM said, "The meeting with Union Jal Shakti Minister is in the backdrop of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's letter (to PM) regarding Mekedatu. I'm here to put pressure- that the matter which is before the Cauvery Water Management Authority should be decided upon at the earliest,"

Karnataka CM Bommai meets Jal Shakti Minister over Mekedatu row with TN

Speaking to reporters in New Delhi, he stated that Tamil Nadu has filed a miscellaneous application before the Supreme Court and once the notice is served to the state, the government will respond to it. "It (Mekedatu) is already in the (CWMA meeting) agenda, I will put pressure that it should be taken up and a final decision be taken regarding the project," he added.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Monday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention to restrain the CWMA from discussing the project proposal in its meeting. Stalin, in a letter to the PM, had said that the scope of the functioning of the CWMA is limited to implementing the Supreme Court's verdict on the Cauvery issue and it cannot consider any other subject.

He had also requested the Prime Minister to instruct the Jal Shakti Ministry to advise the CWMA's chairman to desist from taking up any discussion on the Mekedatu project, till the issues are heard and decided by the Supreme Court. The Tamil Nadu government last week moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the CWMA restraining any discussion on the project at its meeting. Terming the neighbouring state's move as a "political stunt", Bommai had recently said, it is also "illegal" and "against the federal system", and its demand does not have any "locus standi."

Mekedatu is a multi-purpose (drinking water and power) project proposed by Karnataka, which involves building a balancing reservoir near Kanakapura in Ramanagara district. Tamil Nadu has been opposing the project, raising apprehensions that the state would be affected if the project takes shape. The project, once completed, is aimed at ensuring drinking water to Bengaluru and neighbouring areas (4.75 TMC) and also can generate 400 MW power, and the estimated cost of the project is Rs 9,000 crore. PTI

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