Joshi questions Ganga rejuvenation project, says interlinking on large scale not practical

Veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi

New Delhi: The issue of Ganga rejuvenation has once again come to the fore over its feasibility, and the question has been raised veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi, who chaired a Parliamentary panel to examined the mega project.

Joshi reportedly said rivers can be inter-linked on small scale but it is not “practical” to go for large-scale interlinking at the national level.

Talking to reporters on Wednesday after tabling a report of the Estimates Committee on Ganga Rejuvenation , the BJP veteran claimed thousands of kilowatts of power will be required to run pump sets to lift water from one end to another.

“It will require power and money. We are short of power as it is…how will water cross the Malwa Plateau. Imagine the number of pumping sets required,” he contended.

He, however, clarified that river interlinking is not one of the subjects of the Estimates Committee.
The senior BJP leader said had it been practical, then nature itself would have done it. “The rivers would have been inter-connected. But it is not.”

The government has identified three projects for interlinking of rivers. Based on concurrence of the states concerned, three links — Ken-Betwa link, Damanganga-Pinjal link and Par-Tapi-Narmada link have been taken up for preparation of detailed project reports (DPRs) by the
National Water Development Agency (NWDA) out of 30 inter-state links identified under the National Perspective Plan (NPP).

The river interlinking project is considered the brainchild of the NDA government and in October, 2002, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had formed a task force to get the project going against the backdrop of the acute drought that year.

But, few water and irrigation experts have maintained the idea of inter-linking of rivers was conceived in 1992.

(With Agency Inputs)

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