Union Minister Uma Bharti asked Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh to resolve all the pending issues regarding the Ken-Betwa river linking project in order to begin the first phase at the earliest while inaugrating ‘Jal Manthan’, a national seminar on water related issues, she furhter said that Maharashtra and Gujarat were cooperating with the Central government at a much faster pace to complete Par-Tapi and Daman Ganga-Pinjal link projects.
Madhya Pradesh is apparently keen that three other projects be made part of the original Ken-Betwa project. The government had said earlier that Ken-Betwa project, the country’s first inter-linking project which has been planned for many years, will begin by the middle of this year.
Uma Bharti, in her speech, said there should not be any politics on water and states should adapt a national outlook on water management in the country. “Water should not be on fire but should always be used to douse it,” she said.
She said some state governments were afraid of taking an open stand on issues concerning water in the national interest due to political opposition. “The onus is more on opposition than the government to amicably solve the water related issues in the country,” she said.
Uma Bharti said she has decided to meet opposition leaders also whenever she meets leaders of the state government. She said the Central government is always concerned about inter-state water disputes and tries to solve these amicably through persuasion.
An official release said that Uma Bharti appreciated “political maturity” shown by Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to solve water disputes between the two states and urged other states to emulate it.
She said sometimes there were misconceptions about the interlinking of rivers due to lack of information. The two-day national seminar has been organised by the Water Resources Ministry to brain-storm for solutions to various issues of water sector.