Special Correspondent

Bill will be sent to President Kalam for referring plea to State legislature

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet has approved the request of the Uttaranchal Government to rename the State as Uttarakhand. This was announced by Union Minister and Cabinet spokesperson Priyaranjan Dasmunsi.

In keeping with Constitutional provisions, a Bill for this purpose would be submitted to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam for referring it to the State legislature for its views.

Once the legislature expresses its views, action would be taken to introduce a Bill in Parliament for its final approval.

The Cabinet approved the introduction of two Bills in Parliament for declaring some canal and river systems as national waterways.

The first one relates to the Kakinada-Pondicherry stretch of canals. This consists of the Kakinada, Eluru, Commamur, and Buckingham canals and Kaluvelly tank along with the Bhadrachalam-Rajahmundry stretch of the Godavari river and the Wazirabad-Vijayawada stretch of the Krishna in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.

Mr. Dasmunsi said that once the Bill was passed the Centre would take under its control the regulation and development of the stretches for shipping and navigation of mechanically propelled vessels.

The Cabinet alsoapproved the preparation of projects for development of infrastructure along the stretches at an estimated cost of Rs. 542 crore. The Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) will be the implementing agency.

Chaired by the Prime Minister, the Cabinet also cleared the introduction of a similar Bill for declaring the Talcher-Dhamra stretch of the Brahmani-Kharsua-Dhamra river system along with the Geonkhali-Charbatia stretch of the east coast canal, the Charbatia-Dhamra stretch of the Matai river and the Mahanadi delta river system between Mangalpadi and Paradip in Orissa as a national waterway.