Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Wednesday told Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar that the Expert Appraisal Committee for River Valley and Hydro-Electric Projects under his ministry is violating the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and the Supreme Court judgment.
In a letter to Javadekar, the text of which was released to the media, Palaniswami said the Expert Appraisal Committee for River Valley and Hydro-Electric Projects functioning under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change has included Karnataka's proposal for grant of fresh Terms of Reference to the Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir and Drinking Water Project in its meeting scheduled to be held on July 19, 2019.
"The action of the Committee to include the proposal of Karnataka for discussion in the meeting is a violation of the Notified Final Order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and the judgment of the Honorable Supreme Court," Palaniswami said.
Pointing out Tamil Nadu's opposition to the proposed project, Palaniswami said Karnataka has not obtained the prior concurrence of Tamil Nadu and of other Cauvery river basin states.
"Cauvery basin being a deficit basin, construction of Mekedatu or any project in any place by upper riparian State will drastically affect the lower riparian State in getting its due share of water," Palaniswami said.
"The Government of Tamil Nadu has filed an Interlocutory Application before the Supreme Court against the proposal of Karnataka for constructing a reservoir and also a Contempt Petition against all concerned and the matter is pending in the Supreme Court," he added.
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister requested Javadekar to instruct his ministry to issue instructions to the Expert Appraisal Committee for River Valley and Hydro Electric Projects to withdraw the subject of grant of fresh Terms of Reference to Karnataka for Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir and Drinking Water Project from the Agenda for the 25th meeting of the Committee to be held on on July 19.
He also requested that the Committee be directed to desist from entertaining the Karnataka's proposal in future and the present one be rejected and returned to Karnataka.
In a similar letter to the Union Jal Sakthi Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, the Chief Minister has requested the former to take up the matter with the Environment Ministry.