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Indian bishop warns of ecological disaster if rivers diverted

Plans to link three Indian rivers could see a disaster akin to the destruction of the Aral Sea, Bishop Thomas Oommen warns

The Deputy Moderator of the Church of South India, the Rt. Rev. Thomas K. Oommen, has warned that proposals to link the Pamba, Vypar and Achankoil river systems could result in an ecological disaster, akin that which has befallen the Aral Sea. In his presidential seminar to a five day conference on climate change organized by the Church of South India in Kerala, Bishop Oommen said when government’s divert water “a river becomes lean, its aquatic life is disturbed and its aesthetic quality impaired. Any engineering intervention, however small, will invariably impact an ecosystem’s functions and services,” he said. The grand engineering plans to irrigate Central Asia through diverting the rivers that fed the Aral Sea during the Soviet era had left only ruin and waste. What the government proposed might led to the same ecological catastrophe, he said. 

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