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SC deadline for river network

New Delhi, Oct. 31: The Supreme Court today gave the Centre and the state governments 10 years to network all river waters.

A bench of Chief Justice B.N. Kirpal, Justice Y.K. Sabharwal and Justice Arijit Passayat fixed December 16 for further hearing and asked the Centre to come to the court with a reply on the matter that day.

The Centre has plans to link all the major rivers in the country by 2043, but the court asked it to see whether it could constitute a task force immediately to achieve the target by 2012.

The task force, the court said, would work out the modalities for creating the national river network.

Attorney-general Soli Sorabjee told the court that President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee have given personal attention to the issue and were in favour of “linking all the major rivers”.

Sorabjee told the court that the project would involve a huge expenditure. In an affidavit, the Centre said the peninsular rivers could be linked by 2035 and the Himalayan ones by 2043.

The issue was taken up suo motu by the court.

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