Even as the protests by KRV activists continued, state home minister VS Acharya, in an interaction with presspersons, proposed an amicable settlement to the dispute, suggesting the implementation of the Hogenakkal hydel power project, using Cauvery waters. "We want to take a delegation to meet Tamil Nadu chief minister M Karunanidhi. We will hold talks for an amicable resolution of the Hogenakkal drinking water scheme.
The confrontation between the two states could be resolved if Tamil Nadu cooperates in executing a hydel power project. In return, Karnataka could allow Tamil Nadu's drinking water programme," home minister VS Acharya said.
The relationship between the two states has been fraught, as Karnataka has reservations on Tamil Nadu's Hogenakkal drinking water project; Tamil Nadu, in turn, has been opposing the state's Shivanasamudram run-off-the river hydel plant proposed at Mekedatu in Kanakapura, Ramanagara district. Last week, Karnataka water resources minister Basavaraj Bommai slammed Tamil Nadu, accusing it of deviating from the original plan on the Hogenakkal project. This was refuted by Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister MK Stalin during discussions in the state assembly.
Proposing a via media, Acharya said, "We should utilise Cauvery waters for mutual benefit. Karnataka is ready to show a goodwill gesture by ending the resistance to Tamil Nadu's drinking water programme, but Tamil Nadu should allow Karnataka to build a reservoir near Hogenakkal to generate power. We will ensure that it will not, in any way, reduce Tamil Nadu's share of Cauvery water. Both states should make the best use of Cauvery waters, in a spirit of give and take." Referring to his recent participation in the state energy ministers' conference in New Delhi, Acharya said that the state had been assured 1543mw of power from the central grid; however, it had only received about 1200mw. "I have demanded that the Centre allow us the full share. Not just that, considering the power crisis that the state faces, the Centre should raise the share allowed to Karnataka from the central grid to 2200mw."
(Courtesy: firstname.lastname@example.org/ photo of Shivanasamudra waterfall by KPN)