Interlinking Rivers Project - Printable Version

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Interlinking Rivers Project - Guest - 05-06-2004

`Linking rivers will solve water crisis'

By the end of 2020, NDA will make India a totally developed nation by connecting each of the six lakh villages with road besides ensuring electricity, water, irriga- tion, healthcare and housing.

Vajpayee has Ambitious project of interlinking rivers. Actor Dharmendra, BJP candidate from Bikaner wants to talk Punjab Chief Minister for bringing water from Punjab to Bikaner. Actor Rajnikant donated one crore for the said project and promised to vote BJP.
Government encourages students to think their future with the India’s Vision 2020.
Narayan Agrawal, 3rd year B.Tech (Civil of IIT-Delhi presented an example to select the topic of his project: \"Least Cost Canal Path Simulation Using Geographical Information System". The topic comes under Water Resources Management and minimizing the cost of transportation of water to the people. Presented papers by him in International Conferences: MapIndia2004 held in New Delhi on topic, “How MapIndia2004 can become Geospatial Democratic country before 2020”.
International Conference, GSDI-7 held in Bangalore, organized by ISRO and DST on how GIS could be used for National Spatial Development Infrastructure programs.
International Conference, ISSMA-2004 held in Manali, organized by ISRO and DST on Avalanche forecasting using GIS-PP.
"In a project with an expected cost of hundreds of crores, private participation could be sought and some charges might be levied on direct beneficiaries too", Chairman of the Task Force on Interlinking of major Indian rivers, Suresh Prabhu said February 10, 2003 at a round table session on "Networking of Indian rivers" organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry here in New Delhi. Elaborating on the progress made so far, Prabhu said "latest technology including GIS and satellite imagery would be used during preparation of feasibility reports to achieve greater degree of accuracy. he said adding sociologists and NGOs were welcome to give in their suggestions on the same.

By Premendra Agrawal, Raipur, India

Interlinking Rivers Project - Guest - 05-06-2004

Even this project yet to take off, Usual troblemaker are active to delay project
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Interlinking Mirages
Ordered without checks and balances, and conceived dreamily, the plan to link the major rivers will be ruinous, say Medha Patkar and L S Aravinda.
<b>Interlinking Mirages</b>

<b>Interlinking the unwitting</b>

<b>Kerala rejects proposal for interlinking rivers</b>

"Interlinking Rivers in India - From Dream to Reality"
- A presentation and dialogue

Date: 21 February, 2004, Saturday
Venue: 1201 Physics Building, University of Maryland, College Park

Programme: 4:00 - 6:30 p.m. Film, Audio Visual Presentation and Discussion

Indian community
American water experts, economists
Volunteers of local Indian organizations
Members of 'RIVERS FOR LIFE'

The Indian Government is planning a national river grid of 30 links through dozens of large dams and several thousand km long canal system, costing about $200 billion - possibly the largest water project ever attempted by human kind. The plan considers some rivers 'water-surplus' and some others 'water-deficit. By linking them together, it claims to mitigate floods and prevent droughts, bring water to the needy, increase agricultural productivity, generate power and employment.

Taking seriously the concerns of experts and scientists that a project of this nature and scale could be economically, politically, socially and ecologically disastrous, we at RIVERS for LIFE*, set out to understand
- how true are the claims by the Government
- how river systems function, what are our water needs
- whether ILR is a scientific approach to deal with water
- how honest, open and sensible has the planning process been
- how costs and benefits weigh against each other
- what are the lessons to be learnt from past experiences

<b>We invite you to an evening of exploration and dialogue on this issue of national importance that can potentially change the geography of India and its course of history</b>.

Sangeetha Sriram:, (240)472-9106
Kirankumar Vissa:, (301)984-3929

* Rivers for Life is a research-action group that studies river systems and water issues, and promotes discussions and information campaigns. It has volunteer members from various cities and universities.

* Association for India's Development (AID) is a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to promoting sustainable development in India by working with over 100 grassroots groups and movements.

Interlinking Rivers Project - Guest - 05-06-2004

`<b>River networking will change shape of India'</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Admitting, "some people will have to be displaced because of the high density of population," he said the issue of displacement of project-affected people, their resettlement and rehabilitation was not done well in the past, "but that does not mean it would not be in the future." Linking the Prime Minister's assurance of providing 10 million jobs a year with the project, Mr. Prabhu said the rivers interlinking project would create new employment. "The definition of jobs is now changing. Now you cannot offer fixed time, fixed tenure jobs. And if we were to create different kind of jobs then this project can make it happen. It can create jobs in agriculture, in the construction sector — there will be a new demand for steel and cement — and in the process we can address the social, ecological and economic problems."

Mr. Prabhu, who is a former Environment Minister, asserted that the issue of ecology would have to be evaluated. "If any link adversely causes more damage to ecology than bringing benefits, then it will be abandoned. It is possible to assess with new technology how ecological damage can be addressed."

On the criticism about changing the course of the rivers, he said: "this can be seen in simulator models. <b>The apprehensions can be factored in the simulated models.'' He did not feel that the cost estimation of Rs. 560,000 crores is the "real cost". In 10 to 15 years time, "when the GDP will be three times more" the cost would be less than one per cent of the GDP, he claimed</b>. It was not necessary to put the entire cost upfront on the table. "Investment of resources is available in the system. We need instruments to tap these resources. There are experts who are looking at it."

<b>The project will provide an opportunity for coming up with waterways and navigation, which is an efficient, cheaper mode of transportation. It will enhance the per capita consumption of energy and the utilisation of water in totality. However, each State must take up projects to renew water at ground-village level</b>.

Interlinking Rivers Project - Guest - 05-06-2004

Leftist organisation slide presentation on interlinking river

Interlinking Rivers Project - Guest - 05-07-2004

Very important thread, hope members contribute thier opinions on inerlinking of rivers, there seems to be a garlanding of reiver scheme, too, read it somewhere, will try to dig up info on that. <!--emo&Smile--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='smile.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Interlinking Rivers Project - SSridhar - 05-07-2004

There are a number of inter-state river disputes among almost all Indian states. The tribunals formed for their resolution have received no respect from the States, as far as their decisions go. Though I am all for inter-linking of Indian rivers after a detailed study and without causing ecological damage, I do not know how the different states would view this project. And, in view of the disputes and the nature of the coalition governments likely to be at the Centre in near-term atleast, whether we would see any tangible progress at all.

Interlinking Rivers Project - Guest - 05-08-2004

Let BJP win the Karnatka, and BJP+ShivSena win the Maharashtra.

If BJP wants, they can built a link between Haryana+Rajasthan+Gujarat+MP+Chattisgarh+Orrisa+Maharashtra+Karnatka+Goa+TamilNadu+AP

If Mulayam has issues, than he is free to screw himself, though i dont think he has any issue with this project, so count the UP in!!

States which gonna make major major major issue: Punjab, Himachal,BIHAR, West Bengal, NorthEast+Kerela

Interlinking Rivers Project - Guest - 05-08-2004

<!--QuoteBegin-Nikhil+May 7 2004, 02:29 PM-->QUOTE(Nikhil @ May 7 2004, 02:29 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> States which gonna make major major major issue: Punjab, Himachal,BIHAR, West Bengal, NorthEast+Kerela <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I do have some concerns about the eco-logical natural aspect of this project. But if the outcome is profitable than the costs, I'm all for it. Now keeping this aside what is the political problem for these last few states?

Interlinking Rivers Project - Sunder - 05-08-2004

<!--QuoteBegin-Krishna+May 8 2004, 01:37 AM-->QUOTE(Krishna @ May 8 2004, 01:37 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> I do have some concerns about the eco-logical natural aspect of this project. But if the outcome is profitable than the costs, I'm all for it. Now keeping this aside what is the political problem for these last few states? <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
From a newsgroup

Interlinking of Rivers: At what cost?

By M V Kamath

In recent times there has been a great deal of talk on interlinking of
rivers right from the north to the south and from the west to the
east. The concept is very romantic. Fancy some one in Tamil Nadu being
able to drink the water of holy Ganga! The thought is mind-boggling.
But several questions of late are being asked. Is it really worthwhile
to interlink Indian rivers? Is the concept cost-effective? Is it
economically viable? Is it ecologically acceptable? The more such
questions are asked, the more doubts are being raised and current
thinking in responsible quarters is that howsoever noble the aims of
our policy-makers, it is wisdom to go slow in pursuing a vain dream.

Even Bangladesh with which India had a "goodwill" treaty in the matter
of sharing the waters of the Ganga is now having second thoughts.
There is currently a lot of media focus in our neighbouring state on
India's plan to interlink rivers so much so that some Bangladesh
professionals have written to the Supreme Court to scrap the entire
interlinking programme completely.

Even within India itself there are second thoughts over the entire
project. Maharashtra's evolving view, for example, is that the
proposed inter-linking of national rivers has no benefits at all for
the sate and it would rather prefer its river basins to be
interconnected at a cost of Rs 56,067 crore. According to one
authority what Maharashtra needs is interlinking of its own rivers,
rather than interlinking of national rivers. According to estimates
prepared, linking the Marmada and Tapi basins would cost Rs 900 crore,
linking the Krishna-Bhima basins Rs 6,000 crore, lift irrigation
scheme from the Pochampad backwaters Rs 12,000 crore and connecting
the Vainganaga and Wardha basins another Rs 4000 crores.

Maharashtra is reported to feel that a proposed transfer of water by
the Mahanadi- Vaigai link would see a share of 33.31 per cent to
Andhra Pradesh, 19.82 per cent to Karnataka and 25.90 per cent to
Tamil Nadu while Maharashtra's share would be "a meagre quantity of
6.71 per cent and that, too, from its own contributions". No state
wants to be generous to others where river water is concerned.

What needs to be stressed is that costing of the project is highly
subjective. To be honest, very little factual information is
available. According to a paper presented at a meeting of the Indian
Institute of Engineers in Pune in June this year by Nilakantha Rath,
the total cost of the river-interlinking project is around Rs 5,60,000
crore, of which the Peninsular component will cost Rs 1,06,000 crore,
the hydro-electric component will cost Rs. 2,69,000 crore and the
Himalayan component will cost Rs 1,85,000 crore. The total power
generated will be 3,400 crore Watts 400 crore Watts in the Peninsular
component and 3,000 crore Watts in the Himalayan component.

According to Rath, the capital cost per Watt of electricity,
calculated without any interest over the construction period will be
around Rs 89.6. The figures are mind-boggling. But that is only one
part of the price the consumer has to pay.

What is not being realised is that at the very least some 3 million
people will be displaced if the interlinking project is seriously
taken on hand causing untold hardship to them. Where and how are these
people to be re-housed and rehabilitated? Will the government of one
state accept people from another state should an exigency arise? Then
the point is being made that river-linking will really not ensure
water for all but merely huge tracts of food-growing soil.

According to one expert, Aditi Roy Ghatak, writing in The Tribune (20
August): "It will not stop the flooding because the rivers are often
simultaneously in spate. The Gangetic plain can hardly deal with the
excess Brahmaputra waters when the Ganga is overflowing. It will not
solve water disputes but places every state against the other over
riparian rights. It will not bring peace, but, by displacing some
three million people, will tear asunder societies all over the
country. It will provide no permanent solutions but temporary ones..."
But what really is implied in the i n t e r l i n i n g s c h e m e ?

Essentially, the task is to bring the glacial waters of the m e l t i
n g H i m a l a y a n snows to the parched peninsula by literally
tapping the flood waters from 14 Himalayan tributaries of the Ganga
and the Brahmaputra in North India and Nepal and transferring them to
the South via a series of canals and pumping stations across the
Vindhya mountains to replenish, so to speak, 17 southern rivers
including the Godavari, the Krishna and the Kaveri.

According to experts this will entail construction of some 300
reservoirs and digging more than 1,000 km of canals. A plan of a
similar kind was envisaged long ago by a British engineer but his idea
was not so much to bring water to thirsty millions as to make travel
and transport easier for colonial administrators. The idea was given
up as quickly as it was presented. Today's dreamers have something
else in mind. They point out that in normal circumstances about
two-thirds of the 1.9 trillion cubic meters of rainwater in the Indian
rivers goes to the sea and is thus wasted. Nobody seems to have given
the slightest thought to what would happen to the fish and marine life
if the seas, if this water with its rich organic content is recklessly
denied it, for ever and ever.

Surely, environmentalists argue, when God made rivers He had the good
of fish life in the oceans also at heart? Does mere man have the right
to disturb what God has created? Then there is the question of how
engineers will handle Vindhyas which divide North India from the
South. True, the Vidhyas cannot be compared to the Himalayas but for
all that there they stand in all majesty and cannot be ignored.

Dr S. Kalyanaraman, former Asian Development Bank executive is
reported as saying that water from the north would be linked with
rivers of the south not by lifting water but by circumnavigating the
mountains. He is quoted as saying: "North of the mountains the flow of
the link between the Ganga and the Mahanandi will be from the
west/north east to the south east (by gravity) and the south of the
Vindhya mountains, the flow of link between the Mahanadi ad the
Godavari will be from the east to the south west/south (by gravity)."
Not all engineers and technicians think this is possible. Debashish
Chatterjee, a former Geomorphologist in charge of the Geological
Survey of India, Eastern region, is quoted as saying that
"transferring water from one valley to another across the water divide
is a geographical and physical impossibility". He should know.

Our engineers obviously think they can work miracles. Miracles may be
worked but as many want to know: are they worth the price? What is
disconcerting is the report that the Task Force on interlinking of
rivers has already finalised its Action Plan I. The Peninsular links
are to be taken up first, if reports are to be believed. But can any
action be taken without formal assent by Parliament and, just as
importantly, by the states? And what about the people who will be
affected? Are they going to be ignored? Not even all scientists are
agreed with the wisdom of the interlinking project.

Many hold that interlinking will impair the hydrological balance and
the geohydrological setting of he entire Himalayan water system in a
region that is seismically sensitive to boot. What, for example, will
happen if water seeps in geologically unsteady areas? Will there be
more earthquakes? By interlinking rivers are we deliberately buying
earthquakes? Besides, let it not be forgotten that every river has its
own biological logic. Each river is home to a particular species of
fish life which could be damaged by the inflow from the waters of
another river. Has anyone thought of that?

Again, when there is so much talk of cleaning up the Ganga, would it
serve any purpose by diverting its polluted waters to rivers down
south, east of west? Then again rivers carry rich soil which is
finally deposited towards the end, to form deltas that are productive.
Would interlinking bring delta formation to a predictable end?

There are scores of such questions, minor though they may sound but
meaningful if we look at them more deeply. So far there has been no
public debate. There hasn't even been a full-length parliamentary
debate. Every thing is taken for granted. The interlinking concept is
so romantic that it has stopped all debate. What is not realised is
that we may end up in a massive disaster, of unheard of proportions.
There are some thoughtful people who argue that if it is just a matter
of making water available to people there are more constructive and
cost effective ways of doing so.

Check dams can be built as Gujarat state has done in recent years to
great effect. We will have to devise ways and means of preserving rain
water so that it is made available at all times. The Government could
do no better than to set up a Ministry of Water Management both at the
state and Central level. Efforts must be made to raise underground
water levels by storing rain water. Such schemes hardly cost anything
except physical labour.

It makes no sense to spend millions of crores of rupees on schemes
that at some point in time may have to be given up. In the
circumstances the government would be wise to be transparent in every
possible way. No step should be taken until its repercussions are
publicly discussed and debated. The public must be given full access
to all the facts and nothing should be hidden. The matter is too
serious for any government agency to take arbitrary action. One final
thought. Why is there need for more and more water?

This is because we are having more and more mouths to feed. One way to
make equidistribution of water possible is to control and ultimately
reduce population. If, in the next hundred years Indian population can
be deliberately brought down to half of what it is now, the water
problem would indeed have been solved at no cost! And isn't that a
thought worth pondering over?

Interlinking Rivers Project - Guest - 05-08-2004

From M V Kamath's article listed above:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Dr S. Kalyanaraman</b>, former Asian Development Bank executive is
reported as saying that water from the north would be linked with
rivers of the south not by lifting water but by circumnavigating the
Is this the Dr Kalyan our IF member?

Interlinking Rivers Project - Guest - 05-08-2004

<!--QuoteBegin-Viren+May 8 2004, 08:50 AM-->QUOTE(Viren @ May 8 2004, 08:50 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> From M V Kamath's article listed above:
<!--QuoteBegin--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Dr S. Kalyanaraman</b>, former Asian Development Bank executive is
reported as saying that water from the north would be linked with
rivers of the south not by lifting water but by circumnavigating the
Is this the Dr Kalyan our IF member? <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Yes <!--emo&:thumbsup--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbup.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='thumbup.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Interlinking Rivers Project - Guest - 05-09-2004

<!--QuoteBegin-Krishna+May 8 2004, 01:37 AM-->QUOTE(Krishna @ May 8 2004, 01:37 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> <!--QuoteBegin-Nikhil+May 7 2004, 02:29 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Nikhil @ May 7 2004, 02:29 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--> States which gonna make major major major issue: Punjab, Himachal,BIHAR, West Bengal, NorthEast+Kerela <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
I do have some concerns about the eco-logical natural aspect of this project. But if the outcome is profitable than the costs, I'm all for it. Now keeping this aside what is the political problem for these last few states? <!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Well these states are basically ruled either by Congress, or non-NDA, or left parties.

Even if everyone in these states would have been offered a BMW with nice apartment in some richest block of the world, we will still be seeing issues with these states, cos they r totally governed on HATE-BJP theme.

For Punjab, Himachal etc, their excuse is going to be, why we shud be giving our water, even though we have too much of it, still WHY!

Cos even if they come to some term to sell out the excess water, it will be considered as victory for BJP/NDA in a state where we had limited water resources. And than you can imagine the vote shift from which party to which party, and which party may end up being uproot from that state.

For. i.e.
Lets take Karnatka under congress rule. and TN under Amma's.
Lets suppose Amma manage to get all the water she needs from Karnatka, who the general public going to support in next election? Amma as she got them the much needed water. Who will be cornered? congress+DMK etc who are against Amma.

so more of a dirty politics around in this river linking than anything else.

Interlinking Rivers Project - Guest - 05-27-2004

<b>No hasty decision on river linking: Minister</b> <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Kolkata, May 27.(PTI): Union Water Resources minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunshi today said the Centre would not formulate any 'hasty' decision on the inter-linking of rivers without taking respective state governments into confidence and considering international ramifications.

"<b>The Government of India shall not formulate any hasty decision on the project without taking the state governments into confidence and keeping in mind the international dimensions,"</b> [oh ya, we need Bangladesh permission] Das Munshi told newsmen after a meeting with West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee.

Stating that the report of the task force, headed by Suresh Prabhu, was not 'sufficiently exhaustive,' he said that the feasibility of linking 16 rivers in the Himalayan Zone and 14 in the Peninsular Zone had not been sufficiently studied.

<b>Das Munshi said that he would submit a report on the project to the Prime Minister after studying the task force report in detail and interacting with environmental and water scientists, besides NGOs</b>. [yes, invite Pathkar and A. Roy for future discussion]

When it was pointed out that Bangladesh had expressed reservations about the project, the minister said: "The government has not taken any decision. Only a study is being done. After the study is complete, the options will be either to expand its scope, or review the study report or modify it."

He said that the previous government had not taken any policy decision on the inter-linking of rivers

Interlinking Rivers Project - Guest - 06-17-2004

We would rather allow our excess river waters to drain into seas than diverting them to our sister states <!--emo&:furious--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/furious.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='furious.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Interlinking Rivers Project - Guest - 06-18-2004

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->We would rather allow our excess river waters to drain into seas than diverting them to our sister states <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Who is 'we' ?

Interlinking Rivers Project - Guest - 06-19-2004

We, Indians, colelctively, who have been stalling this process of interlinking Indian Rivers, since several decades.

Interlinking Rivers Project - Guest - 06-19-2004

I presume you give no credit to the NDA government for trying mightily to do this and for at least bringing it into the political arena as a subject of some urgency . Linking rivers has been a dream of past visionaries like KL Rao, but they like their successors did not have the political skills to make it happen. Maybe Abdul Kalaam will have better luck if he takes it up as a national cause

Now that the Congress is in the clutches of the communists you can rest assured they will move heaven and earth to prevent it from happening.

I agree with you that lack of unity among indians is a major obstacle to making these projects happen.

However, it is no use blaming all Indians with a broad brush for all the ills of mankind. Blaming everybody essentially takes the monkey of our 'collective ' backs and the argument goes, if it is everybody's fault there is little that i can do. Further , if we make this a partisan issue and avoid naming names , it will never happen. One has to be more specific as to who the main obstacles are, so that one can hold them accountable and then deny them electability if this is a valid enough reason for doing so.

Interlinking Rivers Project - Guest - 06-19-2004

There was news, which I can't locate anymore, where it was mentioned current UPA had decided to scrap department create for linking river. Over Rs330 crore already spent on research and related project is now in drain. Current minister Prabhu put this project in gutter.

Interlinking Rivers Project - Guest - 06-23-2004

So it is not WE (as in IFites) but We as in UPA that is blocking this initiative. It is a wonder anything gets done in India at all.

Interlinking Rivers Project - Guest - 08-04-2004

Any update on this front ? <!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo-->