Bengaluru, Dec 6: The Karnataka government Thursday asserted that the proposed Mekedatu project was the "right" of the state and its "lifetime dream" but sought to reach out to Tamil Nadu, which is strongly opposed to the scheme.
Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy held consultations with his predecessors and former water resource ministers on irrigation schemes, even as the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed an unanimous resolution urging the Centre to withdraw the permission given to Karnataka for a detailed project report for its proposed dam across the Cauvery at Mekedatu.
"It is the right of our state, we don't want to fight or have misunderstanding with anyone on this issue.
It is a balancing reservoir, there is no question of us misusing it," Karnataka water resources minister D K Shivakumar told reporters here after the meeting.
"We request them (Tamil Nadu), they are like our brothers, we are friends.. we have to share this water...
we don't want to fight with them," he said in response to a question about Tamil Nadu rejecting the state's request for talks to clear doubts on the project.
The meeting was attended by former chief ministers Siddaramaiah and Jagadish Shettar, and former water resource ministers Allam Veerabhadrappa, K S Eshwarappa, H K Patil, M B Patil, Basavaraj Bommai, also technical and legal experts.
A specially convened session of the Tamil Nadu assembly Thursday passed the resolution moved by chief minister K Palaniswami, asking the Union Ministry of Water Resources "to immediately order the Central Water Commission to withdraw the permission given to Karnataka for preparing the DPR (detailed project report)."
The previous Siddaramaiah government had decided to implement the Rs 5,912 crore Mekedatu Multipurpose (drinking and power) project, which involves building a balancing reservoir with a capacity of about 66 tmcft, near Kanakapura in Ramanagara district.
The minister said the state government was preparing the DPR and was taking all necessary steps to protect the interest of the state in accordance with law.
"With utmost humility I appeal that both of us (Karnataka and Tamil Nadu) should work together in protecting the interest of our people," Shivakumar said.
He noted that that the "key" to release water to Tamil Nadu according to the Cauvery verdict was with the Cauvery Management Board and not with the Karnataka government.
"There will be no question of us misusing things in anyway...so, going to the Supreme Court against the project or bringing political pressure is not lawful," he said.
He said he along with a team of officials would visit the site of the project Friday. Shivakumar made it clear that there was no scope to explore possibility for irrigation in the area, which is the main contention of Tamil Nadu.
He said "there are about 4,996 hectares of land that come under the proposed project area. Out of that 280 hectares is revenueland, about 500 or 600 acres of farmers land may be there."
The minister said, Karnataka was ready to make presentation on the project to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues, and the state government has also appealed to the Centre to call a meeting of both states to sort out the issue.
Shivakumar said he had written to Palaniswami and said there was no meaning in "unnecessarily objecting to the project. The project was being done within our state and with our money and without violating the judgment of the Supreme Court on the Cauvery dispute."
In his letter, Shivakumar said, "The government desires to have an amicable solution.
It appears that some misconceptions about the proposed project have occurred in government's and Tamil Nadu people's mind though actual reality of the project is different."
In view of Tamil Nadu approaching the Supreme Court for stay on the permission given by the Central Water Commission to Karnataka to go ahead with the DPR, the state government has instructed its legal team to take all necessary steps to lawfully protect the interest of the state.
Shivakumar said Tamil Nadu would get "95 per cent benefit" from the project, while Karnataka would benefit by generating electricity.
Shivakumar said, he was "shocked" that Tamil Nadu has convened a special assembly session on the issue.
He also said the state government was taking all necessary steps with regard to Krishna and Mahadayi water issues to protect the state's interest.
Let the Truth be known. If you read VB and like VB, please be a VB Supporter and Help us deliver the Truth to one and all.
New Delhi, Dec 11: The Supreme Court said on Tuesday that if there is a "common thread" among the murders of social activists Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, journalist Gauri Lankesh and rationalist M M Kalburgi, then one agency can investigate all the four cases.
A bench of Justices U U Lalit and Navin Sinha asked the CBI to inform it by January first week as to why it should not investigate all the four cases if there appears a link among all the murders.
The counsel for the Maharashtra government informed the court that the CBI is investigating the murder cases of social activist and professor Narendra Dabholkar after the Bombay High Court transferred the probes to the agency.
The court, after perusing the status report of the Karnataka Police, said there appears to be a link between the murders of journalist Gauri Lankesh and rationalist M.M Kalburgi.
It asked the Maharashtra government's counsel about the status of the investigation into the Pansare murder case, to which the counsel said the case was pending before the Kolhapur trial court.
Earlier in the day, the Karnataka Police had informed the apex court that there appears to be a connection between Lankesh and Kalburgi murder cases.
The state police also told the apex court that it will file a chargesheet in the Kalburgi murder case in three months.
Noted scholar Kalburgi was killed at Dharwad in 2015. Pansare was also killed the same year. Lankesh was shot dead on September 5, 2017 in Bengaluru, whereas rationalist Dabholkar was assassinated on August 20, 2013.
The top court on November 26 had pulled up the Karnataka government for "doing nothing and just fooling around" in the investigation and had indicated that it may transfer the case to the Bombay High Court.
The top court had on January 10 sought the response of probe agencies NIA and CBI and the two state governments on the allegation of Uma Devi that no substantial investigation has been carried out so far in the murder case.
Kalburgi's wife, in her petition, had alleged that there was common link between the murder of her husband and that of activists Narendra Achyut Dabholkar and Govindrao Pansare, who too were assassinated in August 2013 and February 2015 respectively.
The 77-year old Kalburgi, the former vice chancellor of Hampi University and a well-known epigraphist, was shot dead in broad daylight at his residence in Kalyan Nagar in Dharwad, Karnataka, on August 30, 2015. Born in 1938, he was a Sahitya Akademi award-winning writer of old Kannada literature.