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Study consequences of linking rivers

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This has reference to the editorial, “Unacceptable intrusion” (February 28).

The Supreme Court threw its weight behind a decade-old project which, pursuing a two-century-old dream, proposes to link the country’s Himalayan and peninsular rivers to solve the water problems. But the project has been opposed by some States, environmentalists and social activists.

In fact, interlinking of the river system to transfer surplus water to deficit areas through a network of canals was first conceived by the visionary engineer KL Rao, who had served in the Cabinets of Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Indira Gandhi.

True, it is easy to join rivers on paper, but then India’s annual surface water resource is of the order of 69,000 tmcft, out of which only 8,800 tmcft is utilised, while the remaining water is drained into the sea. The value of one tmcft water in terms of paddy and pulses cultivation is approximately `32.5 crore. Besides, interlinking of rivers would also help generate more than 40,000 MW of clean and green electricity.

Of course, the environmental and financial issues concerning the project cannot be brushed aside. They will have to be addressed and a solution has to be found following discussions with the various stakeholders. The project cannot be just rushed through simply because the Supreme Court has directed its implementation. Whether the courts have the right to dictate policies to the Government, is an issue that has been well-settled; the courts do not have that power so long as the decisions of the Government are not against the law and do not flout the provisions of the Constitution.

Sir — This has reference to the article, “In 10 years, Gujarat has achieved peace, prosperity” (February 29) by Arun Jaitley.

Every kind of violence leaves behind a scar. Innocent lives are lost. Attempts are made to demonise somebody, since somebody has to be demonised. The media does not bother to understand the genesis of such violence. Rather, the journalists begin projecting a view which is sometimes politically or religiously coloured.

Attempts should be made to heal the wounds, as both the Hindus and the Muslims have suffered in the Gujarat violence of 2002.

The communal cauldron is being kept boiling not by the fringe elements this time, but by sections of the educated society which have their own agenda. Even if Gujarat wants to move ahead, these people will not allow the State to do so.

Source : Daily Pioneer

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