Rivers Inter-Linking Can be possible in 7 to 10 Years
New Delhi: Inter-linking of rivers is the dream project of NDA government. This was stated by Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti here today while presiding over the first meeting of the special committee for Inter-linking of Rivers. She sought cooperation of various states in the inter-linking of rivers. Referring to the apprehensions expressed by some environmentalists, the Minister said that the Government will ensure that there is no loss to the environment due to this project. Sushri Bharti said that this project is so dear to her so that she can go and beg for assistance to any State, Organization or individual for the success of this project. The Minister said the inter-linking of rivers will be a mile stone in the development of the nation. She said success of this project will prove that environment and development can go together. She expressed the hope that the 30 interlinking projects taken up by her Ministry will be over within a period of seven to ten years.
The Minister also informed the meeting that her Ministry will be organizing a three day conference titled Jal Manthan in the second week of next month in the national capital. She said a full day will be earmarked for discussion on inter-linking of rivers during the conference.
Ministers and senior officials from the state of Bihar, Telangana, Assam, Kerala, Rajasthan, Gujrat, UP, AP, MP, Tamil Nadu and Maharasthara attended the meeting. Shri Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Water Resources Minister of Bihar was of the view that we should have a national policy on silt management of rivers. He said the meeting of committee should be held in regular intervals so that problems related to inter-linking can be solved at the earliest. The Water Resources Minister of Assam Shri Rajib Lochan Pegu suggested that a separate meeting of North Eastern State should be called on the issue of inter-linking of rivers. Shri Harish Rao, Water Resources Minister of Telangana was of the opinion that linking of peninsular rivers with Himalayan rivers should be taken up on priority basis. He said water should be transferred from one river basin to another only when there is surplus water in one basin. The Tamil Nadu government representative was of the opinion that all inter state rivers should be taken over by the centre for proper implementation of the inter linking of rivers of the country.
It may be recalled that Supreme Court of India vide its Judgment dated February 21, 2012 in WP (C) 512 of 2002 along with WP (C) 668 of 2002 “Networking of Rivers” had directed for setting up a special Committee for inter-linking of Rivers. The Government of India vide its resolution dated December 13, 2002 constituted the “Task Force on Interlinking of Rivers under the chairmanship of Shri Suresh Prabhu, a former Union Minister. An expert group from IIM. Ahmedabad set up by the Task Force submitted in December 2006, a Report on “Organizational Structure for Interlinking of Rivers”. Subsequently, vide Gazetted Notification dated September 23, 2014 the Ministry of Water Resource, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation constituted a special committee for inter-linking of rivers under the chairpersonship for Union Minister for Water Resource, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The Director General of National Water Development Agency is the Member Secretary of the Committee.
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