New Delhi: Karnataka government on Thursday said it has the right to construct a dam on the Cauvery river without violating the order of Cauvery River Water Tribunal.
"Government of Karnataka is not violating any of the Tribunal awards. Within the legal frame, we have to give 192 TMC of water to Tamil Nadu in an average year... Beyond 192 TMC, if there is any (surplus) water during floods within our own territory, Karnataka has the rights to use that water," State Water Resources Minister M B Patil said.
Stating that an Express of Interest (EoI) has been called for carrying out the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for the proposed reservoir at Mekedatu, he cited the pressing need for drinking water to Bengaluru city, besides Old Mysore Cauvery delta region, to have the project.
"Why should I allow water to go waste? We do not have drinking water for the Old Mysore Cauvery Delta region and two-thirds of Bengaluru city does not have drinking water," he added.
Patil also said that the last date for submitting the EoI has been extended to December from the previous deadline of this month-end.
Tamil Nadu government has urged the Centre to advise Karnataka not to take up any irrigation, hydro power projects, including the proposed Mekedatu drinking water project in Cauvery basin as it "violates" the final orders of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and affects the interest of its farmers.
Farmers in delta districts of Tamil Nadu have called for protests including road and rail blockade, besides a total bandh in the region on November 22.