A DMK delegation, on the orders of its president M. Karunanidhi, on Wednesday asked the Centre to implement the Supreme Court verdict given on February 27, 2012, for setting up a “special committee” to link rivers and channel some rivers to prevent water wastage.

The delegation, consisting of party’s senior advocate K.S. Radhakrishnan and Rajya Sabha member S. Thangavelu, met Union Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat here and urged him to take steps to immediately constitute the committee.

Mr. Radhakrishnan, who had originally filed the writ petition in the apex court on the need to interlink rivers, said water in future was going to be a rare commodity and a United Nations report revealed that India will look like a desert and the people will experience scarcity of water for drinking purposes too. While the northern part of India was always witnessing floods due to heavy rain, the Deccan plateau and the peninsular India bore the brunt of acute water shortage and drought.

The Supreme Court, in its judgment, suggested that the committee could be headed by Union Water Resources Minister and consist of officials of various ministries, experts, representatives of State governments, social activists and an amicus curiae. “It will not only be desirable, but also inevitable that an appropriate body be created to plan, construct and implement this inter-linking of rivers programme for the benefit of the nation as a whole”. “Be as it may, we have no hesitation in observing that the national interest must take precedence over the interest of the individual States. The State governments are expected to view national problems with greater objectivity, rationality and spirit of service to the nation and ill-founded objections may result in greater harm, not only to the neighbouring States but also to the nation at large,” the SC observed then.

“While the northern part of India was always witnessing floods due to heavy rain, the Deccan plateau and the peninsular India bore the brunt of acute water shortage and drought’’