With various states continuing to fight over water sharing agreements of inter-state rivers, Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari Wednesday said that he believed disputes could be resolved “out of court” through “positive approach and understanding that we are all part and parcel of this country”.
Gadkari, addressing the 14th special meeting on the interlinking of rivers, said he was surprised there was little discussion on the amount of water that drains into the sea. “There is little discussion on the river water that is draining into the sea. Instead, we are all fighting with each other, and will we be able to resolves it through an out of court settlement? I definitely think so,” he said.
“If we are able to save the enormous amount of river water that gets lost to the seas as run-off, and are able to divert this to water deficit regions, we can solve the problem of water scarcity that exists in several states ,” Gadkari said.
Citing Polavaram as a good example for diverting the waters of Godavari, Gadkari said that better utilisation of existing rivers in the region can do away with water scarcity in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
“The first phase is to tackle the water that is going into the ocean,” he said. “Even the Indravati river that originates in Chhattisgarh and merges with the Mahanadi can be extended to the tail end of Tamil Nadu and can service parts of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana. There is no need for states to fight with each other,” he added, saying requirements of up to 300-350 tmc can be met.