Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam has urged the Centre not to wait for consensus of all states for the interlinking of rivers. (Press Trust of India)
Strongly batting for inter-linking of rivers, Tamil Nadu today asked the Centre to take it up on the lines of the Ganga Rejuvenation project, saying waiting for consensus from states not supporting the idea would only "delay" it.
The Tamil Nadu government is of the view that since the Supreme Court has ordered for speedy implementation of the inter-linking of rivers, the Centre has to take up the project under National Perspective Plan (NPP) as in the case of Ganga Rejuvenation Project, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said.
The state government made its pitch at the 2nd Meeting of the Special Committee for Inter-Linking of Rivers at New Delhi on Tuesday where PWD Secretary NS Palaniappan read out the speech of Panneerselvam. A copy of the Chief Minister's address was released here by the state government.
Panneerselvam said inter-linking of rivers will be a non-starter if it was not taken up immediately.
"In our view, waiting for developing a consensus with non-consenting States would only delay the project," he said.
He urged Centre for a detailed project report (DPR) on Mahanadhi-Godavari-Krishna-Palar-Cauvery-Vaigai-Gundar link for which a Feasibility Report had been completed by National Water Development Agency (NWDA) 'long back,'.
Further, NWDA has prepared a Project Report for Pamba-Achankovil-Vaippar Link after assessing the yield and demand of Kerala including its future requirements, he said.
"The diversion proposed to Tamil Nadu is about 22 TMC ft.
of water, which is 20 per cent of the surplus flows as assessed by NWDA. However, Kerala argues that it is against the inter-linking of rivers programme. As this link is beneficial to both the States, the Special Committee should instruct NWDA for the preparation of DPR on priority basis, so as to implement the link speedily," he said.
Listing out four intra-state river linking programmes in his state, Panneerselvam sought Central assistance for them.
He said a specific time-bound Action Plan should be drawn by the Committee so that inter-linking of rivers was implemented 'speedily and effectively.'
Panneerselvam recalled that his predecessor and former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has been voicing support for this cause as early as from 1993.