Kerala will not allow river linking project: Chandy
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Thursday categorically stated it would not allow the proposed inter-linking of its rivers Pampa-Achenkovil with Tamil Nadu`s Vaipar river, holding that the project would not only result in drying up of rivers, but also cause largescale ecological destruction.
Replying to a submission on the matter moved by leader of Opposition V S Achuthanandan in the assembly, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said the state was well prepared with facts and documents legally and otherwise to oppose the project.
Disputing the contention of National Water Development Agency (NWDA) on excess water state rivers, Chandy said a study by IIT, Delhi had clearly shown that there was no surplus water in Pampa and Achenkovil rivers.
`Not only that, it also predicted that in the coming years there will be shortage of water in these rivers`, he said.
Chandy said another major issue was that the project would inundate nearly 2004 hectares of deep forest in the state.
Vembanad lake and Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala, would face severe drought conditions if the project was taken up, he said.
Chandy also brought to the notice of the house the NWDA`s decision that it would move further on the matter only after a consensus between the two states (Kerala and Tamil Nadu) on the issue.
He pointed out that Kerala had not received any communication so far from the centre on inter-linking of rivers.
The CM also referred to the unanimous resolution passed by the Assembly in 2003 against the plan to inter-link rivers.
While taking up the matter, Achuthanandan wanted the government to be very cautious on the matter to avoid the `failure` the state had experienced on the Mullaperiyar issue.
He said the BJP government was reviving the NWDA project to link Pampa-Achenkovil rivers with Vaipar in Tamil Nadu as part of river linking scheme under Peninsular component, which was kept in cold storage for a long period.
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