New Delhi: Against the backdrop of a Supreme Court direction asking the Centre to constitute a committee for rivers inter-linking, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on Tuesday said before inter-basin transfer of water a variety of issues needed to be settled first.
While hoping that the proposed committee under the Water Resources Ministry will strive hard to work on the issue, he said various technical, environmental and economic issues need to be addressed for proposed inter-linking.
Referring to the Himalayan component of rivers inter-linking, Ahluwalia said "effective exploitation" of capacity of these rivers is critically dependent on the international agreements.
"It is not a decision India can take alone," he said.
Referring to environmental issues, he said any large scale diversion of water will require environmental impact surveys.
He was speaking at a technical session of India Water Week inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh this morning.
Pointing to certain studies, Ahluwalia said interference with the natural flow of river is not a good idea and any diversion which leads to reduction in flow into the Bay of Bengal will alter the layers of salinity in that part of the ocean.