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Linking Godavari, Cauvery based on "ecologically unscientific" premise: SANDRP

By Our Representative
Sharply reacting to Union water resources minister Nitin Gadkari, who has said “linking Godavari and Cauvery rivers will be the top priority for the next NDA government”, well-known civil rights organization South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) has said, “There is no surplus in Godavari as accepted by all the concerned states”, and even if one were to accept the notion of surplus in a river, it is “ecologically unscientific.”
Gadkari recently said, the interlinking of Godavari and Cauvery would be done by taking the backwater of Godavari from Polavaram, taking that water to Krishna, Krishna’s water to Pennar and Pennar to Cauvery -- the tail end of Tamil Nadu.
Calling it a dream project, on which his ministry is working, he added, “Actually, the water problem in the country is not the problem of whole of India. There are some pockets; but basically, water scarcity is a problem related to Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Odisha.”
Taking issue with Gadkari, SANDRP has said in reply to a query by CounterView, “In fact, both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have said there is no surplus. The claim of Gadkari that there will be water available in Polavaram for this scheme is clearly not founded on facts.”
The top advocacy group continues, “Gadkari and his government has not been able to make even two states of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh agree to sign implementation agreement for less complicated Ken Betwa river, 14 years after signing the MoU for Detailed Project Report in August 2005”, adding, this happened “even when both states and the Union were led by same party.”
According to SANRP, Gadkari knows, “what he is proposing is clearly non-starter”, adding, “His diagnosis of water problem is also seriously flawed. If he says, UP and Bihar or Assam or Punjab or Haryana or Jammu & Kashmir or Uttarakhand or Himachal Pradesh, or even Meghalaya, does not have water shortage, than God save the country who has such a water minister!”

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