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River interlinking will displace millions: IRN

A national convention on interlinking of rivers here today voiced concern over the project, saying it would "displace" millions of people besides causing "damage" to the environment.

india Updated: Jun 24, 2003 10:59 IST

A national convention on interlinking of rivers here today voiced concern over the project, saying it would "displace" millions of people besides causing "damage" to the environment.

"The project will establish the hegemony of global investors in deciding the life of common people and ultimately bring economic slavery," Indian River Valley Network (IRN) Convenor Kumar Kalanand Mani said at the one-day event jointly organised by the IRN and Gandhi Peace Foundation, Ernakulam.

The mega project was initially estimated to cost nearly Rs six lakh crores which as per the Task Force might go upto Rs ten lakh crores, he said adding the government had not made it clear from where the funds would be made available.

Mani said the project would "displace" millions of people and "uproot" their self-sustained living.

It would also "severely damage" environment of ecology by destroying huge forests and would disturb the ground water re-charging system, ultimately leading to severe scarcity of drinking and irrigation water, he claimed.

M K Prasad, renowned environmentalist, in his keynote address, termed it as "a suicidal project" and said there was a need to create awareness among the people about its impact.

The IRN urged Kerala Government to discard its plan of selling water from Periyar river, describing it as "anti-people and anti-environment".

First Published: Jun 24, 2003 10:59 IST