Union Minister for River Development Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday said work on three river inter-linking projects would start in three months.

The projects on inter-linking of Ken-Betwa, Damanganga-Pinjal and Par-Tapi-Narmada had got all necessary approvals, the Minister said at the 31st Annual General Meeting of the National Water Development Agency here.

Gadkari would hold a meeting with the Chief Ministers concerned soon to sort out inter-state issues to ensure the smooth take-off of projects, an official release said.

He also expressed concern over the plight of people in 13 drought-prone and seven flood-prone regions of the country.

Pointing out that nearly 60-70 per cent of water runs off into oceans, the Minister stressed on the need to develop effective means for “conserving available water and sharing what is surplus”.

He said the socio-economic cost of water projects should be taken into account while preparing Detailed Project Reports.

Gadkari also underscored the need for developing innovative funding models for water projects, and accessing loans at very low rates of interest.

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