“River linking projects for the country are a great challenge and at the same time an opportunity to address the water issue arising out of climate change”. Critically analyze the statement in light of recent floods witnessed across the country. Currently, about 9 states in India are facing floods situations such as Assam, Karnataka, Kerala, whereas other parts are water-stressed (T.N).
River interlinking aims to link rivers by a network of reservoirs and canals that can redistribute water from surplus to deficit areas.
Evolution of concept (India).
- Aether cotton (British India) addressing draughts in southern India 19th
- 1970 proposed Nation Water grid.
- 1980’s National perspective for water resource development.
- National Water Development Agency (1982).
- Northern Himalayan river interlink (14 projects).
- Southern peninsula component (16 projects).
- Interstate river linking component (36 projects).
- Opportunity to address climate change.
- Extreme events incusing, despite the historical surplus of deficit states. It can help in draught mitigation flood control.
- Hydroelectricity generation as India needs to mitigate further emission from oval based thermal power plants that can aggregate climate change.
- Irrigation potential of southern drought-prone areas such as Bundelkhand can be solved as both surface and groundwater irrigation will improve. Especially when farmers are facing bunt of both extreme and water stress.
- Potential of in-land waterways as the eco-friendly medium of transportation.
- Huge capital investment from abroad probably is needed which can result in a debt trap.
- Ecological disturbance as a natural cause of rivers will be disturbed.
- The sediments to deltas will reduce coastal areas under threat.
- Rivers change their cause every two years.
- Mass displacement and submergence due to such projects.
(Km-Between interlinks – submerge Panna tiger Eyre 50 sq. km)
Lack of feasibility
- Due to the high cost
- Southern Asia’s – upland (therefore pumping upward)
- Mass deforestation, rehabilitation cost (Ex. China – cost economy growth due to environmental issues)
- 13 other feasibility repay
- 4 priority links
- Kin Between
- Damanjaye – Pinjal
- Godavari- Convey
The need is to have detailed cost-benefit studies for such projects before proceeding to full-fledged complementation as SC had demanded the government to do.