AIADMK Slams Karnataka’s Opposition to River Cauvery-Gundar Interlinking Scheme

AIADMK Slams Karnataka’s Opposition to River Cauvery-Gundar Interlinking Scheme AIADMK's O Panneerselvam slams Karnataka over river Cauvery-Gundar interlinking scheme. (Source: O Panneerselvam / Twitter)

Chennai: The Tamil Nadu opposition party All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) slammed the Karnataka government for reportedly moving the Supreme Court against Tamil Nadu’s Cauvery-Gundar interlinking scheme on Wednesday. AIADMK alleges that it was done due to state’s opposition to Mekedatu dam and was an expression of its “jealousy.”

AIADMK Coordinator O Panneerselvam explained that the Cauvery- Gundar interlinking, initiated by the previous party-led government, entails diverting excess water to drier regions in Tamil Nadu which will have no effect in Karnataka.

The Rs 14,400 crore, 262 km project is aimed at diverting 6,300 cubic ft of surplus water during flood times to drier areas in the state’s southern districts and the then Chief Minister K Palaniswami had laid the foundation stone for the first of the three-phase initiative in February this year.

READ ALSO: Mekedatu Dam Dispute: Tamil Nadu CM Stalin Rules Out Scope for Talks With Karnataka

Cauvery, South Vellar, Vaigai and Gundar rivers will be interlinked in this major intra-state water project.

Panneerselvam, citing reports of Karnataka moving the apex court against the project, said it came in the wake of Tamil Nadu’s “stiff opposition” to that state’s proposal to construct a balancing reservoir on river Cauvery at Mekedatu there to meet the twin objectives of meeting drinking water requirements and power generation.

Tamil Nadu was opposed to Karnataka’s proposal to construct the dam since it was against the final award of a Cauvery tribunal, even as the matter was pending before the country’s top court.

“It is unfair on part of Karnataka to have moved the Supreme Court against Tamil Nadu’s irrigation schemes just because it did not give approval to the Mekedatu project,” Panneerselvam said in a statement.

Karnataka had nothing to do with Tamil Nadu’s intra- state project, he said.

READ ALSO: Mekedatu Dam Dispute: Karnataka 100% Committed to Project, Says Minister Bommai

Tamil Nadu was opposed to the Mekedatu dam only over fears of the reduction in its quantum of water from the inter-state Cauvery river and the state’s delta region turning into a ”desert” should the project take shape, he added.

At the same time, the Cauvery-Gundar interlinking and related projects including construction of shutter dams would only help in utilising surplus water and “would not impact Karnataka,” he added.

“Karnataka opposing schemes being implemented within Tamil Nadu is an expression of jealousy,” and seemed to indicate it was okay with excess water draining into sea but not being useful for the people of his state, the former chief minister alleged.

According to the past agreements between the then presidencies of Madras and Mysore, the latter cannot construct dams on Cauvery without the other’s consent as Tamil Nadu was a lower riparian state, Panneerselvam said.

Karnataka, therefore, had no grounds to move the SC against the said projects in Tamil Nadu and Chief Minister M K Stalin should take due legal steps to ensure the former’s petition was dismissed, he demanded.

(With inputs from PTI)

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