New Delhi: Isha Foundation Founder and spiritual leader Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudevraised concerns over the Centre government’s proposal of inter-liking of rivers and said any new proposal must be evaluated on the strength of scientific and environmental merit and long-term sustainability, not politics.
“A few interlinking projects have already rolled out. It would be ideal if we evaluate it on the basis of scientific and environmental merit and long-term sustainability, rather than on the basis of emotions and politics.
“The evaluation should also be on the basis of economic gains from these projects and weigh them against the loss of natural resource capital before embarking on new projects,” he said.
In Budget Speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced that the implementation of the Ken-Betwa Link Project will be taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 44,605 crore.
According to the FM, this is aimed at offering irrigation benefits to 9.08 lakh hectares of farmers’ lands, supply of drinking water for 62 lakh people, 103 MW of Hydro, as well as 27 MW of solar power.
The FM’s Budget Speech of 2022-23 further mentioned that allocations of Rs 4,300 crore in RE 2021-22 and Rs 1,400 crore in the financial year 2022-23 have been made for the Ken-Betwa Link Project.
Last year in December, the PM chaired Union Cabinet had approved the funding as well as the implementation of the Ken-Betwa inter-linking of rivers project. Sadhguru said there are certain rivers which can be linked, which would be beneficial especially for flood mitigation, but all rivers in India are not fit to be linked because the rivers are not like European or North American rivers.
“In Europe, for example, the average precipitation is around 100-150 days in a year, and they have at least 10 to 15 inches of snow sitting there for two to three months. For us, precipitation is only for around 60-70 days in a year, and this is a tropical land that is very thirsty and will drink up water,” he added.