Interlinking of rivers of India

About Interlinking of rivers in India Group

In 1972 the then Minister for Irrigation K. L. Rao proposed a 2640 kilometer long link between the Ganges and Kaveri rivers. In 1974 plans were proposed for the Garland canal. In 1982 the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) was set up to carry out surveys of the links and prepare feasibility studies. Brahmaputra and Ganga particularly their northern tributaries, Mahanadi, Godavari and West Flowing Rivers originating from the Western Ghats are found to be surplus in water resources.

But I have a question, which is yet unanswered. Why we want to invest money on interlinking of rivers ? Whether we have increased the water use efficiency which is about 45 percent ( highest, about 30 percent in general ) at present to near 80 percent ? Why our irrigation projects have actual irrigated area much less than the designed irrigated area. Why water is not available at tail portion of most of the canals ? Whether we have have rechecked our design procedures and codes ? Whether we have rechecked the design procedures for design and construction of field channels, where wastage of water is around 40 percent ? Whether we have educated farmers for proper preparation of agriculture fields and proper use of canal water for best output ?

The answer to these questions is in negative. I understand the linking of rivers is not going to solve the problem, for solution of which, linking of rivers is being advocated. Ultimately it will prove diversion of water from politically weak areas to politically strong areas. In my opinion linking of river project, except in some cases, will be disastrous for unity of India. Why the Government of India and Government of Karnataka are not able to harness and divert water of their west flowing rivers to eastern areas ?

Nobody is objecting to it. The reason is that the people who are in policy making, do not study the matter scientifically and start new slogans to deceive the people. I will mention here about the estimation of melting of Himalayan glaciers by a committee headed by Mr Pachuari, which just prepared its report on the basis of a report in a newspaper. This report was taken back by him when the world criticized him and he was having no other option left to him.

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