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Apex court seeks update on river-linking projects

Thaindian News, New Delhi, 25th November, 2008

New Delhi, Nov 25 (IANS) The Supreme Court Tuesday sought a detailed status report from the government on the implementation of five river-linking projects in southern, western and central India.A bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan asked the central government to apprise it of the latest developments on the projects by the fourth week of January.

The bench, which also included Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J.M. Panchal, also asked Maharashtra and Gujarat to apprise the court of the reasons for the delay in signing a treaty between the two states for interlinking the Par, Tapti, Narmada, Daman Ganga and Pinjal rivers.

The bench also asked Tamil Nadu and Kerala to apprise the court of their differences in linking three rivers - Pamba, Achankoli and Vaippar - in their regions.

The apex court is seized of the issue since the very inception of the concept by erstwhile National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government in 2000.

The bench of then chief justice Y.K. Sabharwal had taken cognizance of the issue on its own and has been monitoring the implementation of the project since then.

It had been seeking status reports from the central government and various government agencies besides the state governments on river-linking and issuing directions to them to expedite the project.

The bench Tuesday sought to examine the progress in implementing the five projects.

Besides examining the projects in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, the other projects that the court sought to examine include those of interlinking the Ken and Betwa rivers in Madhya Pradesh.

The court also examined the progress in linking the Parbati, Kali Sindhu and Chambal rivers in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The fifth project that the court sought to examine related to the interlinking of the Godavari and Krishna rivers involving Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

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