Abdul Kalam for national river grid

Guwahati: Former President A P J Abdul Kalam today said nationwide smart waterway, based on the concept of a river grid, covering all major rivers in the country could be started from the Brahmaputra river in Assam.

"What we need is a smart waterway in the Brahmaputra, a waterway which would be navigable 24 hours. Like the national power grid, we need a national waterway and Brahmaputra should be the starting point," Kalam told reporters here.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the 14th convocation of the IIT Guwahati. Asked if he is favour of the river interlinking project, Kalam said "Yes, I am for linking of rivers."

Earlier in his convocation speech, the former President said students of IIT-Guwahati could take up the project. "You (students) must think of making a smart Brahmaputra waterway. It should be operational 24X7," he said.

"I often visit Assam and whenever I see the Brahmaputra, it is flowing silent and with minimum activity. I have a dream that it should be part of a national water grid. It could be a beautiful waterway," he added.