The Centre has taken up interlinking of rivers in "right earnest" and a meeting of chief ministers of various states will be held to evolve a plan on transferring surplus waters of the Godavari to the Cauvery to address water scarcity in the south.
Announcing this to reporters in Chennai, Union Water Resources minister Nitin Gadkari said his ministry was working on two river linking projects that would provide water to water-scarce states as the country's agriculture was dependent on monsoon seasons.
The ministry was discussing with the states concerned, he said, adding "in near future, we will come up with a concrete action plan."
He said 3,000 TMC of water from Godavari was going waste into the sea.
"We will treat these projects as national projects because this is a river connectivity project," he said,
Gadkari said 90 per cent of the cost will be borne by Government of India and 10 per cent by state governments.
"This can be a game-changer," he said.
Elaborating on the first project, he said initially 300TMC would be transferred from the Godavari to the Polavaram project (in Andhra Pradesh) through Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and to river Krishna.
After that water will be taken to Somasila dam on the Pennar and from there it will be taken to the Grand Anaicut on river Cauvery, he said.
"We will be taking the water through steel pipes and not by canal," he said.
Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana will be benefited from this project, he said.
On the second project, he said water from Indravati river (Central India) will be taken to Nagarjuna Sagar dam.
"Again it will come to Somasila project and from Somasila it will come to Cauvery without the Karnataka connectivity."
He said the initiative would solve the water problems in different parts of Tamil Nadu.
Gadkari earlier reviewed the status of various projects under his Ministry here along with Chief Minister K Palaniswami and senior government officials.