New Delhi | Kerala and Odisha are opposing the NDA government’s ambitious project to interlink rivers in the country while the Centre has received the backing of other states over the contentious project. It is understood that Odisha did not send its representative to the recently-held three-day Jal Manthan – a conference organised by the Ministry of Water Resource here where issues such as inter-linking of rivers, repair and restoration of water bodies and water management were discussed.
However, though Kerala was ideologically against the project, its officials participated in the meeting, sources in the ministry, said adding some states have expressed their support if a few issues are addressed in this regard. The ministry is believed to be exploring possibilities of rehabilitation measures for those who could be displaced while implementing the project, especially in Odisha.
There are apprehensions from Odisha that several thousands would have to be displaced for inter-linking rivers. But we are sure of rehabilitation measures, the sources said. The Ministry envisages interlinking of Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery rivers, wherein Mahanadi in Odisha is a key component in linking the peninsular rivers.
A National Perspective Plan was formulated for interbasin transfer of water from surplus basins to deficit ones with a view to minimizing the regional imbalances and optimally utilizing the available water resources.