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Tamil Nadu’s opposition leader and Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president M K Stalin has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking river linking projects across the country. He noted that a majority of Indians depend on agriculture for their livelihood and called it imperative to “take effective and urgent steps to implement the inter-linking of rivers as a grand agriculture strategy.’’
Stalin wrote that Tamil Nadu’s neighbouring states had been either blocking sources of irrigation to the state or were “arbitrarily constructing check dams in violation of’’ inter-state agreements. “I state, with a heavy heart that a very grave situation is prevailing in Tamil Nadu due to the imbroglio in the inter-state water issues. The farmers are struggling every day to earn their livelihood to survive in the present unprecedented agrarian crisis in the state,’’ he wrote, amid farmer agitations across the country besides drought and monsoon failures in Tamil Nadu.
“Continuing problems to get the legitimate share of water from adjoining states, monsoon failure and worst unprecedented drought conditions have badly affected the normal life of farmers in the state. Hundreds of farmers have committed suicide.’’
He recalled then Union minister K L Rao’s initiative to interlink rivers in 1972 although there were no follow up. He referred to DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s advocacy of river interlinking twice at National Development Council meetings. Stalin added that Karunanidhi launched two intra-linking projects as chief minister.