The Centre has decided to call a meeting of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu chief ministers soon to resolve the issue regarding the proposed construction of Mekedatu dam across the Cauvery river that led to stalling of Parliament proceedings last week.
The issue was discussed in detail by Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy in a meeting with Union Water resources and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday in Delhi.
“In the meeting, Gadkari said he was convinced that the Mekedatu project will benefit Tamil Nadu. The minister also assured that he will direct his officials to fix a meeting of chief ministers of the two states at the earliest,” an official spokesperson of the Karnataka government told reporters.
The Mahadayi water dispute between Karnataka and Goa was discussed in the meeting, but the Union minister said the matter is in court, he added.
Mr Gadkari has said he will call the meeting of chief ministers of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to discuss the implementation of the project, according to an official statement.
The Karnataka chief minister during the meeting brought to his notice that Tamil Nadu has raised objection against the project though it is beneficial to both states, especially for Tamil Nadu, the statement added.
He also requested Mr Gadkari to resolve the issue by calling the meetings of the chief ministers. “Gadkari obliged to call a meeting accordingly,” it said.
Mr Kumaraswamy told PTI that “we have asked the Centre to call for a meeting with the Tamil Nadu government so that the issue can be resolved.”
With the two main Tamil Nadu parties — AIADMK and DMK — protesting in Parliament opposing the Mekedatu project, Karnataka lawmakers, cutting across party lines, have planned an agitation Thursday in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Parliament complex to counter the two parties.
The AIADMK and the DMK are agitating in both Houses of Parliament pressing for scrapping of the proposed dam project.
The Tamil Nadu government has also appealed in the Supreme Court on the matter.
Mr Kumaraswamy’s brother and PWD Minister HD Revanna as well as Karnataka Chief Secretary TM Vijay Bhaskar were also present in the meeting in Delhi.
Besides, these two water disputes, the Karnataka chief minister also discussed with the Union minister about the pending national highway projects in the state.
He sought commencement of the construction of the six-lane Bengaluru-Mysure Road, for which the Karnataka government has already acquired 85 per cent of the required land.
The chief minister requested Mr Gadkari to direct the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to expedite preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for construction of the Bengaluru-Hassan section of the NH-75.
Mr Kumaraswamy also urged the Union minister to ask the NHAI to complete the work between Hassan to Gundya via Sakaleshpura (NH-75) and four-laning of the NH-206 from Tumkur-Honnavara.
The chief minister also sought the construction of a four-lane divided carriageway between Hassan to Holenarasipur and sanction of a six-lane elevated highway in Hassan town limit on Belur-Bilikere of the NH-373.