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Tags Current Affairs

Mekedatu project

Date: 17 January 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The Congress party has suspended the Mekedatu Padyatra undertaken in the state of Karnataka after the High Court questioned the event amidst rising cases of Covid-19.

 

Background

The padyatra was to start near the Cauvery Sangama and would cover 100 km in the next 10 days to end in Bengaluru.

 

Details

  • The padyatra was launched for implementing a project to build a reservoir on the Cauvery at Mekedatu near the Tamil Nadu border.

  • The reservoir would provide drinking water to Bengaluru and other nearby areas. The project has been opposed by Tamil Nadu in Supreme Court, citing decline of its share in the river waters.

 

Mekedatu project

  • The project envisions a reservoir near Ontigondlu, about 1.5 km from Mekedatu in Ramanagara district of south Karnataka at the confluence of the Cauvery and Arkavathi rivers.

  • The government prepared a feasibility report in 2013 for the reservoir project with a storage capacity of 67.16 TMCF of water to supply 4.75 TMCF to Bengaluru and its surrounding areas, besides generating 400 megawatts of hydroelectric power.

  • It was supposed to be built across an area of 5,252 hectares, including 1,869 hectares of reserve forest land at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore.

 

Present status

  • The government has submitted a detailed project report (DPR) to the Central Water Commission and the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA), which is yet to be approved.

  • The project would also need environment clearance as large forest lands will be submerged. Environmentalists are opposing the project as it will submerge elephant corridors.

 

Implications on politics

Assembly elections are set to take place in about a year and the Congress is hoping to increase its hold over south Karnataka by appealing emotionally.

 

The suspension of march

  • The High Court questioned both the state government and Congress party for allowing the padyatra to take place.

  • Following instructions from central leadership about damage to the party outside of Karnataka, it was decided to temporarily halt the march.

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