Interlink rivers to address water crisis, says Modi - The New Indian Express

Interlink rivers to address water crisis, says Modi

Published: 11th September 2013 09:40 AM

Last Updated: 11th September 2013 09:40 AM

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said that serious efforts should be made to turn into reality former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee’s plan of interlinking of rivers.Addressing farmers from across the country and allied industry professionals at the closing ceremony of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Agriculture Summit 2013, Modi said time had come to think about holistic water management. “In our country, some areas are suffering problems due to excess water while others are starved for water. Vajpayeeji had a dream of interlinking of rivers... it should be fulfilled so that farmers get necessary water,” he said.

The Gujarat CM also said that the state government had linked the Narmada to 20 other rivers in the state. “The water in the Sabarmati comes from Narmada,” he said.

“States must co-operate with each other on water issues. We had a water problem, but still we took decision to share the Narmada with Rajasthan. One must think in terms of national interest,” said Modi.

Modi alleged that many ‘eyebrows’ were raised when the Gujarat Chief Minister awarded each farmer hailing from other states Rs 51,000 for their innovative farming practices. “The country’s politics is such that one government can’t praise the work of another government. When we suffer from drought, farmers from seven-eight states send cattle feed to us, so can’t I respect for their achievements,” he asked to the crowd of farmers who responded with a thundering applause.

Modi said Gujarat got bamboo from Nagaland and Assam, and rice from other states. Politicians should not try to create differences between farmers on the basis of language. Modi said that all farmers and fishermen at coastal areas should be provided with facilities to take up seaweed farming, which is required by medicine manufacturing companies and for agricultural purposes. Agriculture Secretary Ashish Bahuguna said most of the farmers wanted to quit farming, which is quite alarming and steps needed to be taken to address the issue.

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