River inter-linking 'dangerous' idea: Patkar
Airing scepticism over the inter-linking of rivers serving the desired purpose, social activist Medha Patkar today charged Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar with embarking on the project in the state without consulting people.
"I am apprehensive about inter-linking of rivers serving the desired purpose and if it is so then chronic flood caused by Koshi river should have stopped after construction of dams," she said at the ninth biennial national conference of the public movements on environmental issues.
If the construction of dams on Koshi river cannot mitigate floods in Eastern Bihar, then the inter-linking of rivers too would prove to be a wasteful exercise, Patkar said.
Describing the inter-linking of river projects as a "dangerous" exercise, she charged Kumar with going ahead with such projects without holding consultations with the people.
Patkar also attacked Kumar for ignoring environmental hazards and said that though he did not bring the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in the state he has "allowed setting up of asbestos factories and environment-unfriendly industrial units even as efforts have been made to suppress the people's voice on environment issues."
She also apprehended trouble in Bihar over the land acquisition for industrialisation as was being espoused by the Chief Minister and said that the state could face similar situation and politics over acquiring land for industries as had happened in West Bengal.