Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti has underlined the need for deciding the definition of “Surplus water” of rivers once for all. Chairing the tenth meeting of the Special Committee for Inter-Linking of Rivers held in New Delhi , the Minister said that this issue has to be sorted out in consultations with the states. She said “till this issue is decided the dispute about surplus water will continue to crop up time and again”. T
he Minister said, for this we will require a detailed study of country’s agricultural land including irrigated land, non irrigated land, agricultural produce and their market. The Union Minister said her Ministry will take a final decision on this issue after detailed deliberation with the states.
Sushri Bharti that a Jal Manthan (Seminar on water related issues) will also be held to deliberate on this issue. Stressing the need for speedy implementation of inter linking of river projects, the Water Resources Minister said “I hope that National Water Development Agency will work with more vigour and will complete the delayed inter linking projects in a time bound manner.”
Addressing the meeting, the Water Resources Minister of Bihar Shri Rajiv Ranjan Singh raised the issue of flood in the rivers flowing into Bihar form Nepal. He said keeping this in view the issue of inter linking of rivers in the state should be taken up on priority. He also suggested that the projects with the potential to irrigate more than two lak hect. of land should be declared as National Project. The Water Resources Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Surendra Singh Patel argued for starting the work on Ken-Betwa link at the earliest. He wanted to know the total cost of the project and his state’s in share in the same.
Union Cabinet in its meeting held on July 24, 2014 approved the constitution of the Special Committee on ILR. Accordingly, Special Committee on ILR was constituted vide order dated September 23, 2014. The first meeting of the committee was held on October 17, 2014 and its last meeting was held on April 29, 2016. The committee, after considering the views of all the stakeholders, is proceeding ahead to expedite the objectives of the interlinking of rivers as per terms of reference. Vigorous efforts have been made for generating consensus with development of alternative plans and also setting out road maps for implementation of projects.