ANDHRA PRADESH

Linking of rivers: call for proper planning

HYDERABAD, NOV. 29. Linking of rivers does not mean mere construction of canals between rivers but the creation of large reservoirs to store water for the non-monsoon months.

Further, the first beneficiaries of such projects need to be the project-displaced people, with command area farmers coming next, if these have to be successful, opined T. Hanumantha Rao, former irrigation engineer-in-chief. He was inaugurating a two-day seminar on the feasibility of the inter-basin transfer of water organised here on Monday by the Engineering Staff College of India (ESCI). Mr. Rao stressed the need for proper planning and required clearances for these large reservoirs and called for following the recommendations of the World Water Forum regarding environmental issues and rehabilitation of displaced people.

He gave the example of China's Three Gorges Dam and water reservoirs in the USA, which have successfully followed these policies. The canals linking the rivers can also be used for navigation.

Ravinder Singh, Chief Engineer, Central Water Commission, hoped that the seminar would help formulate measures for the inter-basin transfer of river water in ways, which would be acceptable to all beneficiaries. S. Nagabhushana Rao, Director, ESCI, recalled the original proposals of the former Union Minister, K.L. Rao, regarding river linking and stressed the need for wider discussion of this topic.

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