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Cong calls for Gujarat river link project to be scrapped, says it’s against tribal interests

Congress on Wednesday demanded that the Par-Tapi-Narmada river link project be scrapped as it is against the interests of the tribes.

Addressing a joint press conference here, Congress leaders Shaktisinh Gohil, Sukhram Rathva, Naranbhai Rathwa, Anant Patel and Gourav Vallabh claimed that the Center is seeking to benefit certain industrialists in Gujarat through the project.

Gohil, who served as minister of the irrigation department, said the Centre’s priority should be to provide people with drinking water first, before diverting water for other purposes.

“The government should completely abandon the Par-Tapi-Narmada river link project to protect the tribal lands of Gujarat,” he said.

The Gujarat Congress alleges that the project will displace the tribal residents of the region as it intends to change the course of the rivers which will have devastating results.

The Center has decided not to give the green light to the Par-Tapi-Narmada river link project, following strong protests from the tribes, Gujarat BJP leader CR Paatil said on Tuesday.

Congress dubbed the decision, which comes ahead of state Assembly polls expected in December, as a ‘lollipop’ for tribals, and said protests will continue until the Center releases a ”white paper” on the abandonment of the project.

Tribes in the southern districts of Gujarat have been protesting the project since Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said in her budget speech last month that the Draft Project Report (DPR) of the project and four other river link projects had been finalized.

The Congress had also organized a rally in Gujarat against the project, in which many tribals participated.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)