Mekedatu: AIADMK flays Yediyurappa, asks TN govt to safeguard farmers' interest
New Delhi, June 19: The opposition AIADMK on Saturday lashed out at the ''unilateral'' decision of Karnataka government to proceed with the Mekedatu dam project across river Cauvery and urged the Tamil Nadu government not to compromise a wee bit on the state's rights over the issue.
Leader of Opposition and AIADMK Co-coordinator K Palanisamy slammed Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa for saying his state will go ahead with the project after obtaining necessary clearance from the Centre.
''The unilateral announcement of Karnataka chief minister B S Yediyurappa to go ahead with the construction of Mekedatu dam, especially when a contempt of court case is pending in the Supreme Court, is highly condemnable,'' he said in a statement.
On Friday, Yediyurappa tweeted ''the Mekedatu project, which is significant for the state of Karnataka, is aimed at drinking water supply.'' ''The NGT (National Green Tribunal), which was hearing a petition seeking a stay on the project, dismissed it and endorsed Karnataka's argument. The project will be started as soon as possible after getting all the clearances,'' he said.
Palaniswami further said the Tamil Nadu government should pay close attention to the developments in the neighbouring state and strive to get the Cauvery water due for the state.
''Tamil Nadu government should not allow Karnataka's attempt a wee bit and take steps to safeguard Tamil Nadu farmers' livelihood,'' he added.
During his tenure as chief minister he had ensured the state's rights on the issue by prevailing upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to halt the construction of the dam and said the delta districts in Tamil Nadu would become a desert if the dam was built.
He had also initiated a contempt case in the supreme court on the matter, Palaniswami said.
He further said the Cauvery river meets the drinking and agricultural needs of several districts in Tamil Nadu.
People are well aware that late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's government won many legal battles on this front, he said and recalled the then ruling AIADMK's initiative in ensuring the Cauvery Water Management Authority and the Cauvery Water Regulatory Commission were set up.
The final order of the Cauvery Tribunal was published in the Central Gazette in 2013, after Jayalalithaa exerted pressure on the union government, Palaniswami said and added that he had requested the PM that environment clearance for Mekedatu dam project should not be granted.
The Ministry of Water Resources should direct the union environment and climate change ministry to reject the project outright, he had urged, Palaniswami added.