Mekedatu dispute between Karnataka – TN in Court unwarranted: Law Minister
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Mekedatu dispute between Karnataka – TN in Court unwarranted: Law Minister

February 4, 2023

Mysore/Mysuru: Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs and Minor Irrigation, J.C. Madhu Swamy has asserted that ‘Inter-State water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over Mekedatu (Multi-purpose Balancing  Reservoir Project) in Ramanagar district, is not a fit subject that has been drawn to Court by TN Government. Some people with vested interests foment disputes and hence such issues remain unsolved.’

Madhu Swamy addressed the gathering during a talk on ‘Law Governing Inter-State Border and Water Disputes’, organised by Karnataka Institute for Law and Parliamentary Reform, Bengaluru, in collaboration with Vidya Vikas Educational Trust (VVET), Vidya Vikas Institute of Legal Studies, Mysuru, at Lalitha Smaraka Bhavana at VVET campus on Bannur  Road today.

Referring to several water disputes related to Karnataka, Minister Madhu Swamy regretted that ‘Such is the feeling that we have become Atithi Devo Bhava (Guests are Like God). Such disputes should be discussed at national-level within the ambit of law. Moreover, there is a lack of leadership at the Centre, who can vouch upon solving the disputes.’

On the long drawn Cauvery river water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Law Minister said, “It is only due to an undertaking given in writing during the construction of Kannambadi Katte (Krishnaraja Sagar Dam) over river Cauvery in Mandya, to release water to Mettur Dam in Tamil Nadu, during the British rule, the dispute prolongs, with even the verdict of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) not in our favour. However, in the later years we failed to develop command areas to strengthen irrigation activities.”

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Whenever there is a mention of water disputes, we prefer to have a laidback approach with our hands tied up, he lamented.

Similar is our approach to-wards inter-State border disputes involving Karnataka, Maharashtra and other States. Even though we accepted the recommendations of Mahajan Commission over the border dispute (between Karnataka and Maharashtra) half-heartedly, Maharashtra is opposing it. If we accede to the demands of creating separate States on the basis of languages, a situation may arise one day, when we will be left with Old Mysore region only, said Madhu Swamy.

Former Chief Minister Dr. M. Veerappa Moily said, “The Central Government should have given its consent to Mekedatu project, that is now before the Court. Even Cauvery dispute is a 100-year-old issue.” Strongly advocating that the Centre should resolve such disputes at its level, without letting them go till Court, Moily said “More seminars and discussions should be organised to deliberate on such issues.”

 Director of Karnataka Institute for Law and Parliamentary Reform, Bengaluru, K. Dwaraknath Babu,  Chairman of VVET and former MLA Vasu, Secretary of VVET V. Kaveesh Gowda, former VC of Karnataka State Law University Prof. P. Ishwara Bhat, former Advocate General Uday Holla and others were present.

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