Interlinking of rivers to be done cautiously: PM


"The interlinking of river system is something which can help in expanding area under irrigation. But there are also problems. There are environmental concerns," the Prime Minister said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.

He was replying to a question on interlinking of rivers against the backdrop of spells of droughts and floods in the country.

Singh said there was a "difference of views" among experts in the field on how far interlinking of rivers can help provide water security to the people.
"Two or three projects are under preparation. Project designs are now available. The Ken-Betwa area is one area where we are going to experiment with linking of river system," he said referring to the Ken-Betwa river link between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh which is almost ready.

He said "we will have to move with caution" in extending linking of rivers because of the environmental concerns and related issues as it could lead to irreparable damage to the ecology.

Recently, Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi had termed the interlinking of rivers, conceived by the NDA government, as a "disastrous idea".
"It is a disastrous idea. It is an idea that will be extremely dangerous to the environment of the country," Gandhi had told reporters in Chennai last month.

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