Mekedatu dam issue: SC likely to hear TN’s contempt plea on July 27

The Supreme Court has tentatively listed July 27 as the likely date to hear the contempt petition filed by the Tamil Nadu government against Karnataka and central government against the construction of Mekedatu dam over Cauvery river by the Karnataka government.

The Tamil Nadu government had moved the contempt petition against the director of project appraisal (south), chairman of the Central Water Commission, directorate of the Central water commission, Managing Director of Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited, Karnataka’s water resources department principal secretary and minister. The contempt was moved in December 2018 after the Central Water Commission entertained the feasibility report of the dam.

Tamil Nadu has contended that the Central Water Commission had ignored the court order. In an all-party meeting held on Monday, the opposition AIADMK wanted the state government to clear all cases related to the Mekedatu dam including the contempt of court proceedings.

S. Duraimurugan, senior leader of the DMK and state water resources minister had, in the all-party meeting on Monday, said that the state government would oppose the Mekedatu dam project continuously as the Karnataka government would have to get several clearances including from environment and forests, wildlife, energy, techno-economic clearance, resettlement and rehabilitation and said that the TN government would oppose the proposal at all these stages.

Tamil Nadu had opposed the Cauvery water management authority taking up the Mekedatu dam issue three times during the meetings. It may also be noted that an expert appraisal committee of the union environment ministry had not given the Karnataka government the terms of reference for an environmental study in June 2019 on the Mekedatu dam project.

While the Supreme Court has tentatively listed the contempt plea for hearing on July 27, the official date will be known soon.