Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], August 1 (ANI): Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) chief DK Shivakumar urged Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai to immediately commence work on Mekedatu dam project.
"The Mekedatu dam is a project to utilize our share of water. No one in the state says not to start the Mekedatu project. So let the government plan. We are fully cooperating," said the KPCC president.
Speaking to media persons on Saturday evening at Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru, DK Shivakumar said Mekedatu project must be started soon.
The Mekedatu balancing reservoir-cum drinking water project, to be constructed across the Cauvery river basin, has been at the centre of controversy between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Earlier on July 12, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who then served as the state's Home Minister, had said that the Centre will have to give clearance to the project as per law and there is no reason the state government will stop the project.
Responding to the comments of Bommai, Tamil Nadu Water Resource Durai Murugan said that the state has the right to take a legal course of action to stop Karnataka from constructing the Mekedatu dam.
Prior to that, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin have also the urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to allow the Karnataka government to construct a dam at Mekedatu against the orders of the Cauvery tribunal and the Supreme Court.
Incidentally, a civil appeal filed by Tamil Nadu, seeking a restraint order on the proposal, is pending before the Supreme Court.
"Not an acre will be irrigated by the Mekedatu project. It is a project to generate electricity and supply drinking water to Bangaluru. Let BJP, DMK or other parties in Tamil Nadu do anything they want. Our chief minister were the ministers of irrigation before, he is aware of the scheme. I think he should start planning soon. It is not the project to utilize water for irrigation, it's the project for electricity and drinking water supply," said Shivakumar.
KPCC chief further said, "When the Environment Department has given permission, our Chief Minister must put pressure on the central government. Get permission from other departments and start work as soon as possible. Blaming someone else does not work. We will give you all the kind of cooperation you need. I don't know why CM does not have the willpower."
Earlier on July 31, Basavaraj Bommai on his two-day visit to Delhi met Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat and requested him to approve Mekedatu scheme and declare Upper Krishna and Upper Bhadra schemes as national projects. Discussions were also held on providing drinking water facility to Kolar and Chickballapur. (ANI)