Bengaluru: In the midst of opposition from Tamil Nadu, there seems to be more trouble for Karnataka’s plans of moving forward with the proposed Mekedatu balancing reservoir along the Cauvery in Kanakapura taluk of Ramanagaram district. Vinay Luthra, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) and Chief Wildlife Warden of Karnataka, has indicated his department’s “opposition” to the proposal and pointed out that the project would cut through the elephant corridor. “We will certainly oppose it,” he said here on Wednesday.
Mr. Luthra said he had not received any proposal about the issue nor has the Forest Department’s opinion on the matter sought. He said the dam would block an elephant corridor in Hassan, leading to increased man-animal conflict in the area. The proposed dam is expected to submerge more than 2,500 acres of forestland. Tamil Nadu had moved Supreme Court to stall construction of the balancing reservoir, only to get a strong reaction from Karnataka Minister for Irrigation M.B. Patil, who had termed the opposition “meaningless”. Disputing claims appearing in a section of the media that he had stated that the Centre had approved the project, Mr. Patil clarified that the government had invited interested global consultants to come forward to prepare a detailed project report (DPR). Only after the interested companies submitted DPRs, they will be submitted to the Centre through the Central Water Board.
Therefore, the question of seeking approval to start the project would not arise, he said in a release.