KALABURAGI: In the backdrop of Tamil Nadu moving the Supreme Court on Tuesday to restrain Karnataka from going ahead with the construction of two reservoirs across the Cauvery at Mekedatu, Water Resources Minister M.B. Patil told The Hindu that the State government would present its case and explain how the project would provide drinking water to 40 villages in Bangalore Rural district.
He termed the opposition by Tamil Nadu “meaningless” and said that Karnataka had strong legal grounds to take up construction of a balancing reservoir as per the advice given by counsel Fali S. Nariman, who represented the State before the Cauvery Water Disputes tribunal.
Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday after visiting the sites of the Bennethora and Gandorinala irrigation projects in the district, Mr. Patil said there was no cause for any apprehensions about the Mekedattu project and that the project would be beneficial to both States. The balancing reservoir would store around 45 tmcft of water and would be able to provide water ranging from 5 to 10 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu during emergencies, the Minister said.
He said apart from modernisation of canals and distributaries taken up in the Narayanpur Left Bank Canal in the Upper Krishna Project, the State government had also decided to take up modernisation of canals and distributaries in Ghataprabha, Malaprabha, Tungabhandra, Hiranyakeshi and few other projects to optimise the utilisation of water available in the canal. To a question on pending major and medium irrigation projects in the State, Mr. Patil said the State government was completing these long-pending projects in phases. In the first phase, 14 irrigation projects were taken up for completion, and in the second phase, 23 projects had been included.