New Delhi: With huge hydro-power potential remaining untapped and water disputes among states unresolved, the Centre plans to adopt some rivers as “national assets” in an effort to properly harness hydro-power and increase irrigation potential.
“Now we are working on a proposal to adopt some rivers as national assets,” Water Resources Minister Saifuddin Soz told reporters at the Social Editors Conference here Wednesday.
He, however, made it clear that the Centre was not wanting to nationalise the rivers which would remain a state subject.
Noting that 90% of the funds would be provided by the Centre, Soz said the Centre wanted to have some rivers identified for better conservation, better utilisation and treat them as national assets.
He said a Group of Ministers GoM, which included Union Ministers of Finance and Agriculture and Planning Commission Deputy Chairman, went through the issue. “I hope that the Union Cabinet will very soon accept the proposal,” he said.
The minister said the ministry was working on “credible scientific criteria” to identify such rivers, adding some of the rivers like Yamuna were in “shambles” and efforts to keep them clean and make them fit for drinking water purposes, generation of electricity and irrigation have failed.