Social activists up in arms against inter-linking of rivers | india | Hindustan Times
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Social activists up in arms against inter-linking of rivers

Social activists and NGOs today hit out at the Centre's proposal to inter-link rivers saying it would promote water privatisation at the cost of local communities.

india Updated: May 16, 2003 13:50 IST

Social activists and NGOs today hit out at the Centre's proposal to inter-link rivers saying it would promote water privatisation at the cost of local communities.

They have threatened to launch agitations and public awareness campaigns to protest against what they call aggravating the water problems of the country.

River-linking project is all about water privatisation and is an assault on the very basic cultural values of people, instead decentralised and ecological alternatives should be used, Vandana Shiva of Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology said here.

Releasing a report on the impact of the river linking project, she said Ganga water treatment plant being set up by Suez Degremont in the Capital will rob the farmers of Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal of their vital means of irrigation.

Vice-President of Dehat Morcha, Satpal Chaudhary said a struggle has already been initiated against diversion of Ganga canal to Suez's plant which will turn India's grains basket into a desert.

"It is unnecessary to bring the Ganga water to the Yamuna in Delhi through the Suez plant to solve the Capital's water problems", Pani Morcha's Sureshwar Sinha said.

Shiva said riparian communities have not been consulted in announcing the mega project worth 200 billion dollars even though it is their rights that the project undermines.

She demanded that all water privatisation contracts including one with Suez be made public immediately.

First Published: May 16, 2003 13:50 IST