Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday lashed out at his Karnataka counterpart BS Yediyurappa for stating that the Mekedatu project will be started as soon as possible, saying it was a 'unilateral' statement made when the matter was sub-judice.
Reiterating his government's opposition to the project, saying it was inimical to the interests of Tamil Nadu's farmers, Stalin said the proposal to construct a reservoir at Mekedatu on river Cauvery was "against" the final verdict of the Supreme Court on the inter-state river dispute.
On Friday, Yeddiyurappa 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. Responding, Stalin said Tamil Nadu has been opposed to the project on the grounds that it will lead to a reduction in the quantum of water from Cauvery to the state awarded by the apex court and that it was against its farmers. "Yediyurappa unilaterally announcing (on Karnataka going ahead with it after obtaining clearances) when the case (against the project) is pending in the Supreme Court is condemnable,"
Stalin said in an official statement. He pointed out that he had taken up the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during their meeting in New Delhi on Thursday and urged the Centre not to grant its approval to the project. Yediyurappa making such "unilateral" remarks in this situation would not augur well for the cordial ties between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the chief minister added.
"Karnataka should immediately drop its decision to construct a dam at Mekedatu, which is against the interests of Tamil Nadu farmers and its people, as well that of the final verdict of the Supreme Court on the Cauvery issue," he said. The Centre should not grant approval for the project, he demanded. The Tamil Nadu Assembly had also earlier passed a unanimous resolution against the project, he recalled.