Rivers Interlinking project not consigned to cold storage: Soz

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New Delhi, Nov 30 (UNI) Allaying apprehensions that the ambitious Interlinking of rivers project, conceived during the previous NDA regime, had been put into cold storage, the government today said work on the project was moving at a steady pace.

Speaking on the Private Members' Bill moved by Mr Mohan Singh (SP), seeking to set up an Inter-State River Water Regulatory Authority, Water Resources Minister Prof Saifuddin Soz said as many as 14 feasibility reports had been prepared with the involvement of various state governments.

Meetings with Chief Ministers of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have been taken up with regard to the implementation of the project, he added.

He, however, admitted that some problems were there as far as taking up the project on the ground was concerned. But, these were also being sorted out in consultation with the state governments and by not invoking a provision of the Constitution, Entry 56, which could override the states' objections, he added.

''Since the UPA government is in the favour of evolving a consensus over the issue, the Union government does not want to set up any Central Authority with overriding powers to bulldoze any opposing plan,'' Prof Soz added.

Mr Mohan Singh wanted that the Centre should set up an Inter-State River Water Regulatory Authority for implementation of the project and for the distribution of inter-state river water.

With the assurance that the Centre was siezed of the matter in consultation with state governments, Mr Singh withdrew his Bill. UNI

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