HYDERABAD: The state government reiterated its stand that the interlinking of rivers in the country should start with Mahanadi-Godavari in the southern region. Participating in the annual general meeting of the National Water Development Agency Society in Delhi on Tuesday, irrigation minister T Harish Rao wanted water resources minister Nitin Gadkari to start the interlinking of rivers beginning with Mahanadi-Godavari.At the meeting, Union water resources minister said that the ministry would start work on three river interlinking projects within the next three months.
These include the Ken-Betwa, Damanganga- Pinjal and Par-Tapi-Narmada link projects. However, expressing concern over the Centre’s proposal to first interlink rivers Krishna and Godavari with other rivers, Rao wanted that the interlinking of rivers should start with Mahanadi in Odisha. Harish Rao wanted Gadkari to prevail upon Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik and see to that the interlinking of rivers began with Mahanadi-Godavari.
If the Centre interlinked Krishna and Godavari with other rivers first, TS and AP are likely to forgo their water wars. If the Mahanadi-Godavari is linked, then the Godavari would get more water, as Mahanadi has surplus water. Harish Rao raised this point stating that there was water shortage in Nagarjuna Sagar and Srisailam projects in Krishna basin, whereas Godavari river was brimming with water. Linking of Krishna and Godavari would help TS, Harish Rao pointed out.