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Texas wants to partner India
on interlinking rivers
Suman Guha Mozumder in New York |
June 27, 2003 23:13 IST
Texas wants to partner India in implementing its Rs 5.6 trillion plan for interlinking major rivers to boost development.
Texas Secretary of State Gwyn Shea announced this during a meeting with Suresh Prabhu, chairman of the task force on the project, who is touring the United States.
Shea, who supervises water use at Rio Grand River, which borders with Mexico, said she understands the need for inter-state and international cooperation. "We want to be part of your grand plan," she said. It was not immediately clear what would be the nature and scope of the partnership.
Prabhu explained to her the connectivity programs taken by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee for national highways, digital and river links, adding that these efforts will help in the developement of villages and lessen migration to urban areas.
Shea appreciated the Indian Government's efforts and compared the same with the Texas Trans Corridor envisioned by Governor Rick Perry.
"In an unusual show of courtesy, (the) Texas Secretary of State walked to the main rountana of the state capitol to share pleasantries with the minister," Sockalingam 'Sam' Kannappan, one of the main supporters of the project, said. Kannappan has organised some of his friends in Houston to offer whatever help they can for this project.
During his two-day visit to Houston and Austin in Texas, Prabhu also met a number of officials and members of the Indo-American community.
Prabhu allayed fears of some members of the community during a get-together organised by the Indian consulate that inter-state differences in sharing water can be resolved through negotiation, Kannappan said.
"Prabhu said the support for the project in India is very good and as per the Supreme Courts direction, the project should be completed by 2016," Kannappan added.
The ministerial delegation also visited Tom Miller Dam at Lake Austin that has two hydro generators with 8 megawatts capacity each.
During his meeting in Houston with the members of the community, Dr Kamlesh Lulla, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration scientist and a community activist, appreciated the efforts of the Indian government.
Kannappan said Non-resident Indians and People of Indian Origin have largely supported the project. "I believe following my discussion with NRIs in different cities, that a substantial amount for a long term, with no interest, could be made available if the Indian government raises a bond for linking the rivers."