Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that his government had decided to oppose Tamil Nadu’s Hogenakkal hydro electric project and Cauvery, Gundar and Vaigai river linking project by filing objections in the court.
Addressing media persons in New Delhi after chairing a meeting with senior counsel who represent the state in the legal battles, the state Advocate General and senior officers on ‘Inter-State Water Disputes’, he said: “Karnataka has always been united when it comes to protecting state’s interests related to its land and water. As for the Mekedatu project, it is coming up before the National Green Tribunal(NGT) and there is also another case coming up for hearing together. We will present our stand clearly by filing our objections.”
Replying to a question on notifying the award of Krishna Tribunal-2, Bommai said that the judge had recused himself before the last hearing. “This time we have submitted a petition to Registrar General for appointing a new Judge before the next hearing. The Chief Justice would decide on that. If not we have decided to make a submission in the court regarding this,” he said.
“It has also been decided to present our stand clearly before the Central Water Commission and Cauvery River Management Authority. I had met the Union Jal Shakti Minister and environmental clearance is awaited.
“Mahadayi too came up for discussion. We have requested a speedy hearing. That too is in final stages. As all the riparian states have submitted objections to the Tribunal award… we need to find a solution. The river diversion issue is already discussed and settled. If DPR is approved work would be continued. The meeting discussed about how to start our projects, status of the court cases and how to continue the projects which have been started,” Bommai said.
“We also discussed Godavari, Krishna, Cauvery, Pennar river linking project. We have to file our objections conveying the stand that till the water share of each state including our own share is decided, approval should not be given for DPR. Union Finance Minister too has been informed about our stand that, consent of all the states should be obtained before going ahead with the project,” he added.
Replying to a question on cabinet expansion, the Chief Minister said the issue would be discussed only when he meets BJP President J.P. Nadda.