Bengaluru: Asserting the Karnataka government’s commitment in realizing the Mekedatu project across the Cauvery river, senior Minister K S Eshwarappa on Monday asked the opposition Congress, which has decided to organize a ‘Padayatra’ demanding its speedy implementation, not to play politics over the issue.
”The Mekedatu project is the desire of every citizen of Karnataka. We have decided to implement the project in accordance with the law and will do it. But I don’t know why Congress is remembering Mekedatu now?. When their government was in power they did not pay attention to it and now when BJP is in power they are talking about it,” Eshwarappa said.
Speaking to reporters here, he said, ”Who told them (Congress) that we will not implement the Mekedatu project? If you go on politicizing every issue, the development of the state will not be possible. Whether it is ruling or opposition, we have never played politics over the issue of Mekedatu or the state’s water. I appeal to them not to do politics.”
The Rural Development Minister further asserted that the Karnataka government will definitely implement the project. ”Let there be no doubts about it.”
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Eshwarappa was reacting to Karnataka Congress’ announcement on Sunday to organize a ‘Padayatra’ (march) from Mekedatu to Bengaluru, a distance of over 100 km, probably during the first week of December, demanding implementation of the project.
To a question on whether the Congress’ Padayatra was inappropriate, he said, ”if they want to do it for the sake of politics and to show they are involved in activities as an opposition party, let them do it. Whether they do Padayatra or not, we will implement the Mekedatu project.”
Mekedatu is a multi-purpose (drinking and power) project, which involves building a balancing reservoir near Kanakapura in Ramanagara district.
Neighboring 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 neighboring areas (4.75 TMC) and also can generate 400 MW power, and the estimated cost of the project is Rs 9,000 crore.