New Delhi, May 11 (IANS) Inter-linking of rivers may not be feasible in most parts of the country as most rivers in India are already short of water, veteran BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi said on Wednesday.
Joshi was speaking at a press conference after the estimates committee of the Lok Sabha presented a report on Ganga rejuvenation.
Asked if inter-linking of rivers can be a solution to India’s water woes, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said: “It is a complicated issue. Ken and Betwa rivers can be linked but Ken and Ganga cannot be.”
“All rivers are drying, how can you link the rivers?” he questioned.
Joshi said the issue needed to be debated thoroughly.
“Inter-linking of rivers needs much debate. It is feasible only in some places. The idea of linking rivers from Ganga to Kaveri is not possible,” he said.
“What would one beggar give another beggar,” he added.
The idea behind inter-linking of rivers lies in the theory that some rivers are water surplus, and some have less water. The plan focuses on connecting these rivers for more equitable distribution of water.
Environmentalists and scientists have however warned against the project, stressing that rivers cannot be treated like water pipelines, and diverting flow may destroy the ecology of the river, and the river itself.
Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti, in a special committee meeting for inter-linking of rivers last month, made a strong pitch for focusing on river inter-linking to tackle drought.