`SC directive on river-linking unfortunate`

Kerala Oppn Leader VS Achuthanandan said the SC directive to Centre to implement river-linking project was "detrimental" to the state`s interests.

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

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