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Kalam suggests a network of rivers in Tamil Nadu

INTERACTING WITH STUDENTS: President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at the Vellore Institute of Technology in Vellore on Thursday. — Photo: S. R. Raghunathan  

Special Correspondent

VELLORE: President Abdul Kalam on Thursday called for creating a network of rivers in the State by interlinking the Cauvery with other rivers.

Addressing the students and teachers of the Vellore Institute of Technology here, Dr. Kalam, who departed from his prepared speech, referred to his survey of flood-hit areas and the enormous quantum of water going waste.

To ensure that not much water was let into the sea, the Cauvery could be linked with the Vaigai, Palar and Tamiraparni. Ways should be found for transferring the surplus water to new water bodies in every State.

Inaugurating the Centre for Sustainable Rural Development and Research Studies at the VIT, he said a programme of sharing the water of two rivers in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh was now in the "project report preparation mode."

Stressing the need for proper water management, Dr. Kalam said it was one of the five areas of importance that would enable the country to achieve a 10 per cent growth for a decade.

Calling upon the VIT to carry out research on desalination, he said studies should be conducted to make the process cost-effective. They should also cover the cost of solar power. Agriculture, food processing, education, health care and information and communication technology are the other areas of importance, besides self-reliance in critical technologies, he said, highlighting the concept of providing urban amenities in rural areas.

In his interaction with students, he asked them to launch small enterprises. "You should become employment generators, not employment seekers."

G. Viswanathan, founder-chancellor, VIT, said the institution was implementing voluntary improvement programmes for headmasters and teachers of 350 government high and higher secondary schools. He called for enlarging access to higher education to cover more youngsters.