Work on five major river linking projects, including the one that would transfer surplus water from Godavari to Cauvery, is expected to commence from December, Minister for Transportation, Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari, said here on Monday.

Among the projects, two are linked to bringing surplus water from Indravati river, a tributary of Godavari to Cauvery, to solve the water woes of Tamil Nadu, Gadkari said while addressing a national conference on new water policy regime for India, organised jointly by the Shiv Nadar University and Shiv Nadar Foundation. “Indravati dumps nearly 3000 thousand million cubic feet (tmc) water into Godavari, which flows down to the ocean. We have identified two projects on this river. We will take backwater from the Polavaram project to Krishna river, Krishna to Pennar and Pennar to Cauvery. There is another project for 900 tmc. If these projects are implemented, water can flow in Cauvery till the tail-end,” the Minister said.

This can solve the water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, because Cauvery will get at least 800-900 tmc water whereas the two States fight over 45 tmc water in Cauvery, Gadkari said.

Among other projects that are expected to take off are the Damanganga-Pinjal link project, e Ken-Betwa link project, and the Par-Tapi-Narmada link project. According to him, a total of 31 river linking projects are under consideration under the National River Linking programme.

The government is also actively considering selling treated municipal grey water to thermal power projects. According to him, Nagpur Municipal Corporation is already doing this. It has been selling 10 tmc recycled water to the Maharashtra State Electricity Board to generate electricity. The corporation has been able to earn ₹78 crore from this, he said. Many such projects are being implemented along the Ganga.