No inter-linking projects in states not keen: Uma Bharati

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New Delhi, July 21: Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati Monday said river inter-linking projects will not be undertaken in states opposed to them and there will be justice with every state in water projects.

Replying to debate on the demands for grants of her ministry in the Lok Sabha, she said most members had expressed support for inter-linking of rivers, and such projects will keep in view environment and other concerns.

The projects will not be pursued "where states have objections", she assured.

Uma Bharati said the previous National Democratic Alliance government under Atal Bihari Vajpayee had conceived of inter-linking and attempt was being made by the Narendra Modi government to turn it into a reality.

"The day this dream is fulfilled, no one will die of hunger in the country and there will be no distress migration," she said.

Uma Bharati said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will safeguard interests of the country in any agreements with neighbouring countries concerning rivers.

With members from Biju Janata Dal Odisha and Telangana Rashtra Samiti expressing their concerns over Polavaram project, she said "there will not be injustice with any state."

"We are not seeing it (projects) through the prism of politics," she said.

The minister said she intended to convene a meeting of chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to resolve issues between them concerning water sharing.

Uma Bharati, who is also river development and Ganga rejuvenation minister, said her ministry will spend the allocation made for it this year for improving the condition of Ganga.

She said Ganga was not dirty 50 years back and the National Democratic Alliance government was "prepared to put its full force" to make it clean again.

She said she had told her officers to learn from good practices of states in areas such as water conservation, while assuring the members that rivers in their areas and states will also be given the kind of priority government was giving to cleanliness of Ganga.

"Every river is as divine as Ganga," she said.

She urged state governments as also members to choose a river in their area and work with the ministry for its cleanliness.


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