Karnataka chief minister Basavaraj Bommai firmly asserted that neighbouring Tamil Nadu has no right to obstruct or form a law over the Mekedatu project, a bone of contention between the two states and rejected any possibility of backing off from implementing the project.
“Tamil Nadu has no right to make any decisions over the Mekedatu project. Everyone knows about the stand of that state. They will bring politics into the project. However, our stand won’t change. There is no question of Karnataka backing off from the implementation of the project,” he said.
Bommai stated that if the Kalyan Karnataka Development Board succeeds in utilising Rs 1,500 crore within the stipulated time, the state government will provide a Rs 3,000 crore special package for the development of the region.
The Kalyan Karnataka region comprises seven districts – Bidar, Yadgir, Raichur, Koppal, Kalaburgi Ballary and Vijayanagara.
Bommai has also stated that the ruling BJP would register a thumping win in the by-elections to two Assembly constituencies in the state.
“These elections are not the semi-finals to the 2023 Assembly elections. The Congress even after winning by-elections lost in Assembly polls which were held just after,” he added.
Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have fought the dispute over Cauvery river water sharing in which the Supreme Court has already delivered a verdict stating that the Karnataka government would have to release 177.25 tmcft of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.
In 2019, the Karnataka government submitted a report to the central government regarding its plan to construct a reservoir at Mekedatu in Ramanagara district. Tamil Nadu claims that Mekedatu area is the last free point in Karnataka where Cauvery water flows unhindered into the state but the dam project allegedly would block this flow of water and Karnataka would release only residual quantities.
(With agency inputs)