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Mekedatu project dispute: HD Deve Gowda criticizes Tamil Nadu's opposition

In a meeting of the Union Hydropower Ministry's Standing Committee regarding various irrigation projects, JDS chief and former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda voiced his concerns about the ongoing dispute surrounding the Mekedatu Project. Accusing Tamil Nadu of obstructing the project's progress, Gowda emphasised the need for comprehensive consent to move forward.

 Mekedatu project dispute: HD Deve Gowda criticizes Tamil Nadu's opposition
First Published Jan 13, 2024, 12:13 PM IST

Gowda expressed dissatisfaction over Tamil Nadu's resistance to the Mekedatu Project during the meeting held at a private hotel in Bengaluru. He argued that despite investing funds in constructing the dam, Tamil Nadu was disputing every aspect of the project. Gowda referenced the report by Swaminathan, highlighting promises of increased crop yields threefold, only to find complaints about harvesting. 
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Gowda emphasized that Karnataka's resources were used to construct the dam, raising the issue of financing the project. Gowda emphasized that Karnataka had economically invested in the Mekedatu Project and urged Tamil Nadu to acknowledge the shared benefits it could bring to both states.

The meeting also delved into various irrigation-related topics, focusing on the challenges faced by farmers in securing adequate water for crops and drinking purposes. Despite water being supplied from sources like Hogenakal, disruptions in drinking water supply persisted, as pointed out by Gowda.

He underscored the importance of releasing necessary grants for irrigation projects and criticised the state's claim of having insufficient funds. They thoroughly discussed the allocation of water for irrigation in regions where the Cauvery is not consumed. MP DK Suresh, who also participated in the meeting, shared insights into irrigation matters. 

Gowda acknowledged the concerns raised by Suresh and emphasised the need for a united approach to address water-related issues, transcending political differences. HD Deve Gowda urged the committee to take note of the perceived injustice in irrigation project implementation and emphasised the importance of correcting these disparities. He stressed that regardless of political affiliations, all stakeholders should work together to ensure fair treatment and equitable distribution of resources, particularly concerning water projects.

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