NGT had appointed panel to look into allegations of unauthorised construction activity
Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa will hold a meeting on May 27 to decide the future legal action in the wake of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Southern Zone, appointing a joint committee to look into allegations of unauthorised construction activity taking place in Mekedatu, where the State had proposed to construct a dam across the Cauvery.
Home, Law and Parliamentary Minister Basavaraj Bommai told reporters that the NGT, acting suo motu based on a media report, had appointed a joint committee. It directed the panel to submit a report on or before July 5.
The NGT also directed the joint committee to assess the damage caused to the environment in case of any construction and determine the compensation payable by the respective authorities who are responsible.
“No formal complaint has been filed. The case is pending before the Supreme Court as Tamil Nadu challenged the construction of the project”, Mr. Bommai said.
“In this context, how reasonable is the constitution of the committee by the NGT when the matter is before the Supreme Court?” Mr. Bommai asked.
Noting that the State government will take all legal steps for effectively protecting its rights over water, the minister said the Chief Minister will chair the meeting with legal experts, irrigation experts and ministers in the Cabinet on Thursday to decide on the legal action.
The Karnataka government decided to develop the balancing reservoir project across the Cauvery in Kanakapura for catering to the drinking water needs of Bengaluru and Ramangaram district. The eservoir project was not for irrigation purposes.
In 2018, Tamil Nadu moved a contempt petition in the Supreme Court against the State for ‘wilful disobedience’ of the top court’s order on Cauvery water-sharing.