Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy Friday said the proposed Mekedattu dam across Cauvery would benefit farmers of Tamil Nadu as excess water can be stored during monsoon season for release whenever required by the lower riparian state.
Pitching for a dialogue to sort out differences over sharing of the inter-state river water and the proposed dam, being opposed by Tamil Nadu, he said the Centre had only given preliminary approval for the detailed project report and a final decision would be taken only in consultation with all stakeholders.
Talking to reporters at the airport here, Kumaraswamy said Karnataka wanted to build the dam at Mekedattu to avoid wastage of water during rainy season.
He said his state released more than 394 TMC water to Tamil Nadu this year, but 50 per cent of it went into the sea.
“We wanted to construct this storage reservoir so that we can store this water and whenever our Tamil Nadu farmers required, we can release it… we wanted to construct this reservoir in the interest of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka farmers”, Kumaraswamy said.
His remarks come days after the Tamil Nadu assembly passed a resolution unanimously urging the Centre to withdraw the permission given for the DPR for Mekedattu and not to allow Karnataka to build any new reservoir across Cauvery.
Kumaraswamy also said the Centre gave the nod for the DPR after looking into the views of every riparian state.
“Thats all. Completely central government has not agreed. Without consulting the Tamil Nadu government, without taking their permission, Central government may not take a decision. It is only preliminary permission to go for DPR,” he said.
He appealed to the Tamil Nadu government and opposition parties not to politicise the issue.
“We are like brothers. Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are brothers and sisters. I request we can sit and share whatever problems are there. We can mutually come to one conclusion”, he said noting that the Cauvery issue had been pending for over 125 years.
He said Karnataka would utilise the water for drinking purposes and not for irrigation purposes.
Tamil Nadu is opposing the project, saying it was in violation of the apex court order and would affect the farmers of the state.