Centre identifies 30 rivers for linking

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New Delhi, Dec 17 (ANI): The Water Resources Ministry, based on the report of the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) has identified 30 River links which includes 16 under Peninsular Component and 14 under Himalayan Component for preparation of feasibility reports.

In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Water Resources Vincent Pala, said: "Out of these, feasibility reports of 14 links under Peninsular Component and of 2 links (Indian Portion) under Himalayan Component have been completed. Further, five links in the peninsular component have been identified as priority links for building consensus among concerned state for taking up their Details Project Reports (DPRs)."

The National Perspective Plan (NPP) for Water Resources Development in 1980 envisaging inter-basin transfer of water from surplus basins to deficit basins and areas which comprises of two components, namely, Himalayan Rivers Development Component and Peninsular Rivers Development Component.

The NWDA was set up under the Water resource Ministry in 1982 for carrying out various technical studies to establish the feasibility of the proposals to give concrete shape to it.

"DPR of one priority link namely Ken - Betwa has been completed. Further, NWDA has taken up the DPRs of another two priority links namely Par - Tapi - Narmada and Damanganga - Pinjal after concurrence of the concerned states which are planned to be completed by December, 2011. Another Priority link namely Godavari (Polavaram) - Krishna (Vijayawada) link is part of the Polavaram project of the Andhra Pradesh. Planning Commission has given investment clearance to the Polavaram Project and the Government of Andhra Pradesh has taken up the above project including link component as per their proposals," Pala said.

The projects including interlinking projects are taken up for implementation after the clearances of the central appraising agencies which include Environmental clearance by Environment and Forests Ministry, Techno-economic clearance by Technical Advisory Committee of Water Resources Ministry clearance by Tribal Affairs Ministry and investment clearance by the Planning Commission.

Further, the Water Resources Ministry has constituted a committee of environmentalists, social scientists and other experts on Interlinking of Rivers in December 2004 under the Chairmanship of Secretary (WR).

The committee comprises of members from concerned Government departments, eminent environmentalists, and social scientists and NGOs. The committee renders its advice to the Government from time to time on its terms of reference. The committee has held 7 meetings so far. NWDA has taken necessary action on the suggestions made by the committee. (ANI)

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