NEW DELHI: Giving a push to the river interlinking project, the Centre on Thursday said interlinking of rivers can be achieved in 10 years’ time provided the states concerned give their consent.
Union Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Uma Bharti said interlinking will strengthen Prime Minister Irrigation Scheme and while implementing the interlinking of rivers, it will be ensured that their uninterrupted flow and purity is not harmed.
“We will take up the river-linking projects only when the state concerned gives it concurrence. Without concurrence of states, we will not take up any such project,” Bharti told the Lok Sabha.
The project was also allotted Rs.100 crore in the budget to expedite preparation of detailed project reports. Bharti said out of 46 proposals of intra-state links received by National Water Development Agency (NWDA) from nine states, based on the concurrence of the states concerned, three links namely Ken-Betwa Link, Damanganga-Pinjal link and Par-Tapi-Narmada link have been taken up for the preparation of detailed project report (DPR) by the agency.
The DPR for Ken-Betwa Link Project and Damanganga-Pinjal link have been completed by the NWDA, and submitted to the concerned States. The DPR of Par-Tapi-Narmada link is in various stages of completion. Further, the Supreme Court in its order dated February 2012 has inter-alia directed to take up the Ken-Betwa Link Project for implementation at the first instance itself.
Bharti said approximately 35 million hectare of additional irrigation potential and 34000 mega watts (MW) hydro power generation were the likely benefits envisaged under NPP apart from the incidental benefits of flood moderation, navigation, drinking water supply, fisheries, salinity and pollution control etc.