`SC directive on river-linking unfortunate`
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Last Updated: Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 16:05
  
Thiruvananthapuram: Terming as "unfortunate" the Supreme Court directive to the Centre to implement the river linking project, Kerala Opposition Leader VS Achuthanandan on Wednesdat said it was "detrimental" to the state's interests.

"If the waters in Pampa and Achankovil rivers are diverted to Vypar as proposed in the project, the ecological system of central Travancore would be destroyed," he told a press conference here.

He said if the proposal was carried out, it would seriously affect agriculture in Kuttanad and sound the death-knell for Vembanad lake. Studies by national and international experts on river-linking in Kerala had clearly said that it would amount to 'killing' the state.

He alleged that state Water Resources Minister P J Joseph had not understood the gravity of the issue.The state government was showing utter disregard to the issue as was evident from the vague statement of Law Minister K M Mani that the Supreme court directive would not affect the state, he charged.

Mani had said the directive was applicable only to states concurring with the river-linking project and Kerala had not yet approved the project.

Achuthanandan claimed that Centre had included Pampa-Achankovil project among the 30 river-linking projects proposed. The National Water Development Agency had suggested that the direction of Pampa-Achankovil rivers be diverted by linking them, he said. The Supreme Court, in its order, had also asked the states to co-operate with the project.

Tamil Nadu had started constructing a Rs 100 crore dam at Mekkara expecting the implementation of the proposal to divert Kerala rivers which caused concern, he alleged.

He wanted Kerala government to explore the possibility of filing a review petition before the Supreme Court on the matter and requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to intervene in the issue.

PTI


First Published: Wednesday, February 29, 2012, 16:05


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