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State opposes inter-linking of river waters

State opposes inter-linking of river waters

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Thursday strongly opposed the Union government's plan to interlink state rivers Pampa and Achenkovil with Vaipar in Tamil Nadu, holding that there was no excess water in rivers in the state.

Making it clear that Kerala would not agree to the project at any cost, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the Assembly today that repeated pressure from the state resulted in National Water Development Agency (NWDA) removing Pampa-Achenkovil linking with Vaipar from its priority list.

Government would continue its opposition to the project by presenting before the forum concerned, the adverse impact it could cause to the state, he said.

The Chief Minister also claimed that the project would lead to massive ecological destruction and inundate 2000 heactares of land, including forests. Kuttanad area where the two rivers join would become a desert if the project was implemented, he said.

Besides, studies conducted on the two rivers by experts have also found that there was no excess water.

In the case of Mullaperiyar dam issue, the state had "certain weaknesses" because it has a long-standing agreement with neighbouring Tamil Nadu. But in this case, there was no need for anxiety as waters and rivers are state subjects and the Centre could not proceed on the matter without consent of the states concerned. "We are constitutionally protected in this issue," he said.

The project envisaged by NWDA proposing to link the Pampa-Achenkovil rivers with Vaipar as part of river linking scheme under Peninsular component was taken by Mathew T Thomas (JD-S).

He demanded that steps be taken to protect the interests of the state by resisting 'influences' on the Centre, especially in the wake of a Supreme court verdict on the issue.

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