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Kerala will not allow river linking project: Chandy
Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 17 (PTI) Kerala today
categorically stated it would not allow the proposed
inter-linking of its rivers Pampa-Achenkovil with Tamil Nadu’s
Vaipar river, holding that the project would not only result
in drying up of rivers, but also cause largescale ecological
destruction.
Replying to a submission on the matter moved by leader
of
Opposition V S Achuthanandan in the assembly, Chief Minister
Oommen Chandy said the state was well prepared with facts and
documents legally and otherwise to oppose the project.
Disputing the contention of National Water Development
Agency (NWDA) on excess water state rivers, Chandy said a
study by IIT, Delhi had clearly shown that there was no
surplus water in Pampa and Achenkovil rivers.
‘Not only that, it also predicted that in the coming
years there will be shortage of water in these rivers’, he
said.
Chandy said another major issue was that the project
would inundate nearly 2004 hectares of deep forest in the
state.
Vembanad lake and Kuttanad, the rice bowl of Kerala,
would face severe drought conditions if the project was taken
up, he said.
Chandy also brought to the notice of the house the
NWDA’s
decision that it would move further on the matter only after a
consensus between the two states (Kerala and Tamil Nadu) on
the issue.
He pointed out that Kerala had not received any
communication so far from the centre on inter-linking of
rivers.
The CM also referred to the unanimous resolution
passed
by the Assembly in 2003 against the plan to inter-link rivers.
While taking up the matter, Achuthanandan wanted the
government to be very cautious on the matter to avoid the
‘failure’ the state had experienced on the Mullaperiyar issue.
He said the BJP government was reviving the NWDA
project
to link Pampa-Achenkovil rivers with Vaipar in Tamil Nadu as
part of river linking scheme under Peninsular component, which
was kept in cold storage for a long period.

———
Sikh man jailed for 5 years on kidnapping charges

London, Jul 17 (PTI) A 50-year-old Sikh ringleader of a
gang, who kidnapped a woman in Britain and fled to India, has
been sentenced by a UK court to five years in jail after he
was extradited.
Kalvinder Singh Uppal had fled to India after he was
linked to the abduction and sexual exploitation of the woman
in the Highfields area of Leicester in East Midlands of
England four years ago.
The victim had been brought from India to the UK on the
understanding that she would be working as a dancer in the
entertainment industry, ‘Leicester Mercury’ reported.
But when she arrived in the UK, she was made to offer
sexual services to strangers in return for money. In July
2010, she was kidnapped at knifepoint from her house.
She escaped from the gang when they dropped her at
Birmingham Airport with the intention of taking her back to
India.
Seven men were later convicted of involvement in the
kidnap, but police always believed Uppal was the ringleader.
The Leicestershire Police worked with the Indian
authorities and international law enforcement bodies to secure
the man’s extradition to the UK late last year.
He appeared at Leicester Crown Court last week, when he
was jailed for five years.
Detective Inspector Tim Lindley, from Leicestershire
Police who led the team which brought Uppal back to this
country thanked the Indian authorities for their help in the
case.
He said, “The victim was threatened with sexual violence
and threatened with death. She is now getting on with her
life, but she is still wary when she is in public, four years
on”
“He was undoubtedly the lynchpin and he enjoyed the
control he had over his victim. We do not allow people to
evade justice, no matter where they run to. I would like to
thank the Indian authorities for their cooperation, and the
Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Serious Organised
Crime Agency/National Crime Agency,” the inspector said.
“The seven men, who were jailed in separate hearings in
2010 and 2011, received jail sentences of between 18 months
and 42 months”, he added.

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