The Union Cabinet gave its approval for creation of a ‘special committee’ in accordance to an order passed by the Supreme Court in 2012 for inter-linking of Indian rivers.
The approval was given in a Cabinet council session headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 15 November 2016. According to the government, this move will help in monitoring the projects that are to be carried out under its National Perspective Plan, 1980.
Supreme Court Order
• The Apex Court ordered the union government to create a ‘special committee’ immediately for inter-linking of rivers’ project.
• The court declared the project as a matter of national benefit and progress.
• The court also held the opinion that success of this project would save people living in drought-prone zones from hunger and those living in flood-prone zones from destruction.
Abiding by the judgment passed by a bench of Justices in a 2002 case related to the inter-linking of rivers, the special committee would be required to submit a status-cum-progress report to the Cabinet biannually to ensure fast and appropriate decisions are taken in the interest of the country.
Inter-Linking of Rivers Project
It is a proposed project that aims to link all Indian rivers by the creation of a network of canals and reservoirs in order to reduce the problem of continuous floods in some parts of India and water shortages in others.
The project has been divided into three parts:
- Northern Himalayan rivers inter-link component
- Southern Peninsular component
- Intrastate rivers linking component
India’s National Water Development Agency (NWDA) under Ministry of Water Resources has been given the responsibility of managing the project.
The project was proposed by NDA Government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.