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Centre’s river linking plan makes greens see red

Bengaluru

After winning with a thumping majority the NDA government wants to expedite the river linking project. However, the project has been a subject of intense debate among the environmentalists, citizens and farmers.

Telangana wanted the Mahanadi-Godavari basin link up to be taken up before the linking of Godavari and Cauvery so that Sitaram lift irrigation project is not affected. It also stressed that the state needs 1,500 TMC feet water and after receiving the quantum water from Godavari can be diverted.

The environmentalists claim the ramifications of the project will only lead to colossal environmental damage.

The government says the surplus in the Godavari is 1,100 TMC that is drained in the sea. However, researchers debunk this premise. They say even if the surplus exists today, there is no guarantee about it remaining the same down the line.

“Godavari is a water stressed area. The drought in Marathwada region is deepening and there is acute water shortage. There is already a conflict between upper and lower Godavari on the issue of water sharing. A discussion should be held before the project is initiated,” said K.J. John, an activist and researcher.

“Bio-diversity will be affected. Every water body has its own uniqueness,” John added.

“The design is such that they want to build a dam at the mouth of the delta inside the sea to stop the water from going into the rivers. It is foolhardy in the context of global warming and climate change. There has to be an eco-system approach based on the rainfall,” said Kshitij Urs, faculty of National Law School of India University.

TN won’t allow Mekedatu project: CM

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy expressed apprehensions over Tamil Nadu’s attempts to stop Karnataka from going ahead with its Mekedatu drinking water project.“We have submitted DPR for implementation of the project. Tamil Nadu will not allow the project that easily… We, however, have to keep trying,” the CM told Water Resources Department officials.

He said Bengaluru will face drinking water crisis in future and it is better to look at other sources like Linganamakki and Tungabandra dams. He directed the officials to speed up projects to bring water from Linganamakki to provide water to Bengaluru and other towns. Earlier in the day, the CM also held a meeting with Public Works Department (PWD) officials and directed them to expedite work to complete all pending projects.

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