NEW DELHI, Dec 21 - Notwithstanding the opposition to the river linking project in Assam, the Centre has started work on preparing feasibility report on Manas-Sankosh-Tista-Ganga (M-S-T-G) link involving Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Bhutan.
In a Rajya Sabha reply to a question, Union Minister for Water Resources (MoWR) Uma Bharti said that her Ministry has formulated a National Perspective Plan (NPP) for Water Resources Development envisaging inter-basin transfer of water from surplus basins to deficit basins areas. Based on surveys, investigations and detailed studies, National Water Development Agency (NWDA) has prepared pre-feasibility reports, which facilitated identification of 30 links under the NPP.
The river linking project, if implemented, will not only provide irrigation and water supply benefits to the three States but also provide large quantity of surplus water for transfer to the southern States, sources said.
Once these three States agree to the plan, the Centre will take up the task of preparing a detailed project report (DPR), including the modalities of implementation, water sharing and actual cost of the project.
The M-S-T-G link will be the fifth inter-State project. The Centre had in July announced at the fifth meeting of the special committee for ILR that it will take up the task of connecting Manas-Sankosh-Teesta-Ganga in Assam, West Bengal and Bihar. The three States will soon be approached for their consent, sources said.
As reported, the issue of inter-linking of rivers faced stiff opposition from various organisations including NGOs following which Tarun Gogoi Government had also expressed its reservation.