Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat has asked States with sufficient water resources to appreciate the national need for Inter-Linking of Rivers (ILR) with a spirit of good will and co-operation. Chairing the 5th meeting of the Special Committee for inter-linking of Rivers held in New Delhi today he said this mega project will go a long way in enhancing water and food security of the country.Updating the members with the latest status of various ILR projects, Prof. Jat said the various clearances related to environment, wildlife and forest etc. for Ken-Betwa link project are in the advance stage of processing. He said “I hope with all statutory clearance available, we will be able to start the actual execution of work on the project by the end of this year. The Government will be implementing this national project as model link project of ILR programme”. The Minister said the work for preparation of DPR of Par-Tapi-Narmada link project is in concluding stage and it is expected to be completed by this month end. He said after completion of DPR of Par-Tapi-Narmada link project the issue of water sharing between Gujarat and Maharashtra in respect of Damanganga-Pinjal and Par-Tapi-Narmada link project will be addressed.
Referring to an important decision taken by his Ministry regarding the appraisal of inter-linking projects the Minister informed that henceforth Central Water Commission (CWC) will simultaneously convey its comments to National Water Development Agency (NWDA) along with the State Governments. NWDA will directly submit the compliance of comment to CWC. The simplified procedure will expedite the appraisal of link-projects. On Mahanadi-Godavari link project the Minister informed the members that senior officials of his Ministry made a presentation before the Chief Minister of Odisha on May 29, 2015 on alternative proposal of Mahanadi-Godavari link. He said 17 members of Parliament have expressed their support to this project. On Sapt-Kosi project the Union Minister said the investigation and preparation of DPR of Nepal part of this project is being expedited. The Sapt-Kosi dam will facilitate the Kosi-Ghagra link, which apart from irrigation will provide huge flood control benefit to Bihar. The Minister said that his Ministry would soon be taking up the planning of a very important link, Manas-Sankosh-Teesta-Ganga in consultation with the Governments of Assam, West-Bengal and Bihar. This link project will not only provide large irrigation and water supply benefits to Assam, West-Bengal and Bihar, but will also make available large quantum of water for transfer subsequently to southern States. Water Resources/Irrigation Ministers from Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, UP, Maharashtra and AP also participated in the deliberations and gave valuable suggestions. Some of them were of the view that ILR should be implemented within a definite time frame.