Karnataka government has decided to implement the Rs. 5,912 crore Mekedatu multi-purpose (drinking and power) project. Karnataka Cabinet gave approval to the project which envisages construction of the balancing reservoir for storing water.
The project would ease drinking water problems of Bengaluru and Ramangaram districts.
The proposed reservoir would utilise excess water after releasing 192 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu as per the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal. In some years, water in the range of 35 to 365 tmcft have flown into Tamil Nadu due to excess rainfall.
It include a 400 MW hydroelectricity project. The full reservoir level of the dam is 66 tmcft while its dead storage would be 7.7 tmcft.
This project involves building a balancing reservoir across the Cauvery near Kanakapura in Ramanagaram district.
The State government would place the project before the Central Water Commission as well as the Supervisory Committee of the Supreme Court and Ministry of Environment and Forests for taking clearances. A total of 4,996 hectares of forest lands would be submerged under water.
The contentious project has been opposed by Tamil Nadu on the grounds that it violates the Cauvery tribunal order. However, Karnataka has said that it aims to utilise excess water after releasing 192 tmcft to Tamil Nadu.
Tamil Nadu Assembly had adopted a unanimous resolution urging the Centre to stop Karnataka from going ahead with its plan to build the dam across the inter-State river.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam had even written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to advise Karnataka not to build new dams across the Cauvery at Mekedatu, saying it would affect his State.