Prioritise projects on inter-linking of rivers: Uma Bharti

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New Delhi, July 26 Calling for prioritising the inter-linking of rivers, Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti on Tuesday said the issue has to be sorted out in consultation with different states.

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Bharti also sought finalisation of the concept of "surplus river water", while chairing the 10th meeting of a special committee on inter-linking of rivers here.

"Till this issue is decided, the dispute over surplus water will continue to crop up time and again."

The minister also urged for a detailed study of the country's agricultural land, including irrigated and non-irrigated, agricultural produce and their market.

She said her ministry will take a final decision on the issue after detailed deliberation with states and called for a "jal manthan" (seminar on water-related issues).

"I hope that the National Water Devlopment Agency will work with more vigour and complete the delayed interlinking projects in a time-bound manner," Bharti said while stressing the need for speedy implementation of interlinking of river projects.

Bihar Minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh also sought prioritisation of the interlinking of rivers and raised the issue of flood in rivers flowing into Bihar from Nepal.

He suggested that the projects with the potential to irrigate more than two lakh hectare of land should be declared as national projects.

Uttar Pradesh Water Resources Minister Surendra Singh Patel called for starting work on the Ken-Betwa link at the earliest.

--IANS

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