The National Green Tribunal (NGT), Southern Zone has appointed a joint committee to look into allegations of unauthorized construction activity taking place in Mekedatu, where the Karnataka government had proposed to construct a dam across the Cauvery River.
Q. What is the Mekedatu Project?
Mekedatu, meaning goat’s leap, is a deep gorge situated at the confluence of the rivers Cauvery and Arkavathi, about 100 km from Bengaluru, at the Kanakapura taluk in Karnataka’s Ramanagara district.
In 2013, then Karnataka announced the construction of a multi-purpose balancing reservoir project.
The project aimed to alleviate the drinking water problems of Bengaluru and Ramanagara district.
It was also expected to generate hydro-electricity to meet the power needs of the state.
Q. What are the issues with the project? A.
Soon after the project was announced TN has objected over granting of permission or environmental clearance.
Explaining the potential for damage to the lower riparian state of TN, it said that the project was in violation of the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.
It stated that the project will affect the natural flow of the river Cauvery considerably and will severely affect the irrigation in TN.