Kolkata, Aug 29 IANS | 3 months ago

Social activist Medha Patkar Friday attacked the Narendra Modi-led NDA government's ambitious river inter-linking project, saying the claims of the central government are "not only wrong but false".

Patkar said: "The inter-linking of rivers is not just drawing lines on the maps... so much of uthal puthal (disturbance) will be there.

"The claims of surplus water and so on and so forth made by the government are not only wrong but a lie."

She was speaking at a lecture session during the ongoing Environment and Energy Conclave organised by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry here.

The activist said the impact of diverting water from one basin to the other will have multiple effects on the environment.

"If the basin to which the water is transferred is arid, then that will have different effect," she said.

The leader of the Narmada Bachao Andolan also criticised the central government's decision to raise the Sardar Sarovar Dam height on the Narmada river. She said "huge corruption" has taken place in the rehabilitation process.

"It is an illegal and unjust decision as the Supreme Court's judgment clearly says that the Narmada Tribunal (Narmada Water Disputes Tribunal) Award should be executed, that says without any rehabilitation, there can be no displacement.

"There are 2.5 lakh people in densely populated areas. There are shops, there are houses, there is everything. How can all that go under water first of all. And then there is also the fact that a huge corruption has taken place in rehabilitation. Everything is on record and government records prove that rehabilitation has not been done," she said.

"So if they are changing the whole project and diverting the area that was to be irrigated to industrial purpose, then they should review it," she pointed out.

(Posted on 30-08-2014)

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