New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday said it
would not favour interlinking of rivers if it causes huge a
financial burden on the Centre and asked for a report on its
"My concern is only on what is the financial liability of
the project. We want to make it clear that we would not pass
order on it if it causes huge financial burden," a three-judge
bench, headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia, said.
The bench, also comprising Justices K S Radhakrishnan and
Swatanter Kumar, asked the amicus curie and senior advocate
Ranjit Kumar to file a report on the financial viability of
"What would be the cost of networking? When rivers are
networked, are lands also to be acquired?" the bench said
while asking the amicus to submit his report within a month.
The court posted the matter for further hearing in
January next year.
The river interlinking project was the brainchild of the
NDA government and in October 2002, the then Prime Minister
Atal Bihari Vajpayee had formed a task force to get the
project going against the backdrop of the acute drought that
The task force had submitted a report recommending
division of the project into two -- the Peninsular component
and the Himalayan component.
The Peninsular component -- involving the rivers in
southern India -- envisaged developing a `Southern Water Grid`
with 16 linkages. This component included diversion of the
surplus waters of the Mahanadi and Godavari to the Pennar,
Krishna, Vaigai and Cauvery.