The Centre will explore options to set up a “large fund” for projects related to interlinking of rivers, Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Tuesday.
“I was in Gujarat with the Prime Minister two or three days ago, and we discussed (funding for the river-linking projects)…. Why not create a large fund for implementation of these projects…along the lines of the large fund for bullet trains,” he said.
Speaking at the fifth edition of the India Water Week, inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind, the minister said interlinking of rivers is necessary to reduce the impact of floods and droughts. He said 30 projects related to river interlinking had been identified, which require huge investments.
Gadkari said his ministry will move a proposal in the Union Cabinet comprising 285 irrigation projects planned to be taken up next year to provide irrigation to 1.88 crore hectares of land. Twenty-seven irrigation projects will be completed by the end of this year, he asserted.
Former Water Resources minister Uma Bharti, who was present at the event, said the projects related to Gadkari’s ministry were also linked to her Drinking Water and Sanitation Ministry.