<b>Govt assures SC it will continue with river-linking</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Solicitor-general G E Vahanvati said that the Centre had in principle decided not to go back on the project. However, the matter would be placed before the Union Cabinet for a comprehensive review in September.
Came via email..from TOI ediotrial page:
Focus on Existing Projects, Not âRiver Garlandâ
By Som Pal
The âGarland of Hopeâ (Aug 14) by Suresh Prabhu, chairman of the task force on the river linking project, contains the oftrepeated data on rainfall, utilisable and already harnessed water resources. The core issues needing straight answers seem to have escaped his attention, some of which have since been addressed by Dunu Roy in his âGarland of Hypeâ (Aug 27). The present write-up is a humble attempt to fill the gap.
Â Â The idea of linking the rivers was first mooted by K L Rao during 1970s, and later by Capt M N Dastur. In 1982, the Union government set up the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) to study all the aspects and prepare feasibility reports. The NWDA has identified two components â the Himalayan comprising 16 northern rivers and the Peninsular having 14 southern rivers. The estimate of investment needed is Rs 5,60,000 crore and the irrigation potential as 25 million hectares.
Â Â The assumption that there is surplus water available for transfer to other basins is not correct. Most of the river basins of India are deficit ones. It may be argued that the flood waters during the monsoon can be transferred to deficit areas. But most of the existing dam reservoirs seldom get filled to cater to the given requirements of irrigation and power generation. The flooded rivers also carry a huge load of silt, which is likely to choke the channels. De-silting operations would involve disproportionate recurring expenditure. Usually there is no demand for irrigation in the rainy season, and the quantum, and the period when overflows would be available, is uncertain.
Â Â Brahmaputra is the only river with surplus water, which can be brought to the eastern states either through Bangladesh or the narrow strip between Bangladesh and Nepal borders. Both, however, are fraught with almost insurmountable problems. The other route lies in the area categorised as âdanger zone 5â for its high level of seismic vulnerability. Advancements in the science of civil engineering perhaps can take care of safety of dams against seismic shocks. But insulating a long canal from such hazards, however, should be a very high cost affair, besides not being foolproof. Even a hairline crack in the bottom or the bank can cause catastrophic floods.
Â Â The Himalayan link canal proposed by Capt Dastur was considered unfeasible for two reasons. First, the investment required was put at Rs 12 lakh crore, which was considered grossly disproportionate. Secondly, the extremely fragile lower Himalayan terrain frequently visited by earthquakes and landslides was not suitable for such a lengthy structure. Taking the Ganga water to the southern plateau involved steep lifts up to several hundred feet at some places. Technical feasibility apart, the immense investment and energy needed would not be commensurate with the potential benefit.
Â Â No less important are the political and legal problems. The way various states have been quarrelling with each other over water, flouting not only the tribunal awards but also the apex court orders, poses a serious question mark on the feasibility of the project.
Â Â The moot point is whether there could be a viable approach to solving the water problem. The Tenth Plan document has presented a scenario. According to the Plan, there are 383 ongoing major and medium projects awaiting completion, 111 of which are pending since pre-fifth Plan period i.e. more than 26 years. All these can be completed within five to eight years, yielding an additional potential of about 14 million hectares at a cost of Rs 77,000 crore as estimated by the plan task force, now raised to Rs 100,000 crore. The second component listed in the Plan is development of minor irrigation, mostly in the eastern and north eastern regions. The total potential assessed is 24.5 million hectares with a total investment of Rs 54,000 crore, of which the government is expected to provide only Rs 13,500 crore, the balance coming from beneficiary farmers and institutional loans.
Â Â The success of such a scheme has clearly been demonstrated in Assam, where only 33,000 tubewells, of the planned 100,000, have helped the perennially foodgrain deficit state become surplus one within two to three years. The cost per hectare is only Rs 20,000 and gestation period almost nil, against a cost of Rs 100,000 and 12 yearsâ gestation in case of major and medium projects. The annual rainfall in the region, ranging from 1,200 mm to 5,000 mm, is enough to keep the groundwater regularly recharged. Most of the tubewells being shallow, the cost of installation and power consumption would be low. The third equally beneficial scheme mentioned in the Plan is the groundwater recharge master plan prepared by the Central Ground Water Board needing Rs 24,500 crore to trap 36 billion cubic metres of water annually. The Plan, however, has allocated only paltry sums for this exercise.
Â Â There is a readily available alternative which can create about 50 million hectares of irrigation potential in five to eight years with an investment of Rs 1,38,000 crore. Legal, environmental, resettlement and distributional issues either do not arise or have been settled. On the other hand, there is a far-fetched plan requiring Rs 5,60,000 crore expected to yield only 25 million hectare irrigation and fraught with so many insurmountable problems. The choice seems clear.
Â Â (The author is a former minister of state for
agriculture and water resources.) <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
The Japan Bank for International Cooperation reached the agreement with the Indian government on Thursday to extend 11 billion yen (10 million dollars) for purification of the river, a bank spokeswoman said.
The Indian government will use the loan to construct or renovate in the Hindu holy city Varanasi three sewage facilities, 227 toilets in slums and river bathing areas, and 10 laundry sites which would discourage people from washing in the water.
The spokeswoman said the contamination of the river often caused bad smells and diarrhea among residents and occasionally infected some of the thousands of foreign tourists who flock each year to the sacred river.
The Ganges is under heavy pressure from untreated sewage which pours into the river, despite the Indian government's announcement of a clean-up program some two decades ago.
The Japanese bank spokeswoman estimated that the water quality of the Ganges is five times below Indian government safety standards.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>River-interlinking: Ken-Betwa model stumbles on UP hurdle </b>
Pioneer News Service / New Delhi :
The ambitious river-interlinking project has met its first stumbling block with Uttar Pradesh resisting the pilot project.
While the Centre hopes to make Ken-Betwa a model link in the promised transfer of water from surplus to deficit regions, the state has reservations over water flowing through it from the river Ken to Betwa in Madhya Pradesh. The Ministry of Water Resources is now prodding the state to at least agree upon a detailed project report and sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Madhya Pradesh.
Uttar Pradesh objects to the water diversion since it will diminish power generation potential in the state, downstream of the proposed link. The Water Resource Ministry has a tough task at hand to bring the states on board on the emotionally-charged and politically-sensitive issue of water sharing. "We have written to the States that their objection is valid but have asked them to reconsider.
Their concerns can be addressed once they give a go-ahead for a detailed project report," Water Secretary J Hari Narayan said. An MoU between the states is the first step for any meaningful progress on the demonstration project. In this case, Madhya Pradesh has agreed for a detailed project report. The other link in the pipeline is the Parbati-Kalsindh-Chambal link, where Rajasthan will also be asked to take part.
Other links identified are Polavaram-Vijaywada, Par-Tapi-Narmada link and Damanganga-Pinjal link. Canals through these rivers will go towards linking rivers of the southern peninsular. The larger plan is to eventually bring waters of Mahanadi to Cauvery. And better still, bring excess water of Brahmaputra to Cauvery, if Bangladesh is on board. Water Resources Minister Priya Ranjan Das Munshi said when issues are fleshed out, India's neighbours will be brought on board. He urged Bangladesh Government to not heed disinformation campaign over India's intentions.
<!--emo&:argue--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/argue.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='argue.gif' /><!--endemo--> Medha Patkar flays inter-linking of rivers
[ Friday, June 30, 2006 09:07:09 pmPTI ]
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VARANASI: Narmada Bachao Andolan leader and social worker Medha Patkar on Friday flayed Centre's mega project of inter-linking of rivers across the country saying it was unlikely to the serve the purpose of ensuring equitable water to people.
The inter-linking of rivers project was flawed and unlikely to serve any purpose as the government has not carried out any study whether the rivers, said to be carrying surplus water, were meeting the demands of the local people, she told a meeting of National Alliance for people's movement at the Smpurnanand Sanskrit University here.
Stating that she has observed that the rivers said to be carrying surplus water, were neither able to meet the requirement of potable water to the local residents nor being of any use for farmers, she asked the government to carry out study in this regard.
The NBA leader expressed concern that the present imbalance in distribution of water across the country was unlikely to be addressed in spite of the implementation of the mega river project as it was not clear as any river has surplus water, and if that was so, arrangements should be made in the regions around such rivers for tapping the river water for both drinking and irrigation purposed.
Describing the water crisis as a serious problem facing the country at present and in future, Patkar said there were several localised agitations going on this issue throughout the country and added that she would endeavour to bring all such agitations under the banner of the national alliance for people's movement so as to launch a national carusade on their demands, vis-a-vis the water crisis.
India has completed construction of a controversial dam on the Narmada river, nearly two decades after it launched the project.
Authorities say the Sardar Sarovar dam will supply drinking water to millions of people in four states, as well as fulfilling irrigation and power needs.
But critics say the project has displaced at least 35,000 people who lived in the dam area.
Work began on the 1,250m-long and 122m-high dam in 1987.
But the project ran into long delays, legal disputes and protests.
"India has taken a leap ahead," chief minister of the western state of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, told a gathering to mark the completion of the project, news agency Press Trust of India [PTI] reported.
"The dam will change the future of the country and Gujarat will benefit from it."
Mr Modi said a ceremony would be held later in the month to dedicate the dam to the people of the four states - Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra - which will benefit from the project.
Authorities in Gujarat say the dam will bring crucial water to its parched Saurashtra and Kutch regions.
Experts said there would be no further construction on the dam's structure over its current height.
Last year, the Supreme Court refused to stop the height of the dam from being raised, as demanded by campaigners.
Activists of the Save Narmada Movement, who have been leading the protests, say the state governments have failed to provide adequate relief and compensation to those displaced by the dam.
<b>Reports on river link by March</b> <!--emo&:clapping--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/clap.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='clap.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Feb 15, 2008
CHENNAI: Detailed reports on most of the components of the three proposed links of rivers in the State will be ready by March-end. This is part of the State Governmentâs programme of implementing three projects â linking the Cauvery with Agniyar, South Vellar, Pambar, Manimuthar, Vaigai and Gundar; linking Pennaiyar with Cheyyar and linking Tamiraparani with Karumeniyar and Nambiyar.
All the three links have been proposed taking into account the flood flows.
Public Works Minister Durai Murugan told reporters in Vellore that âwe should at least be able to link the rivers within Tamil Nadu to impound the surplus water going waste into the sea and take water from surplus areas to dry basins.â
The programme will benefit water-deficit areas of Pudukottai, Sivaganga, Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli and Tuticorin districts.
Tanks in the basins of various rivers will also be filled. Totally, 10,630 acres will be required, of which the forest area accounts for 215 acres.
The first link (Cauvery-Gundar) has three components such as conversion of Kattalai Bed Regulator into a barrage, the Kattalai-Manimuthar stretch (length: 165 km) and the Manimuthar-Gundar stretch (90 km).
The report on the first component is ready and the estimated cost is Rs. 165 crore for converting the regulator into barrage. The report on the second component is likely to be ready by March and the report on the third (over 90 km) will be prepared by August. The reports for the second link (Pennaiyar-Cheyyar) and the third link (Tamiraparani-Karumeniyar and Nambiyar) will be ready next month.
On Thursday, A. Mohanakrishnan, chairman of the Cauvery Technical Cell, apprised Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi of the details of the projects at the Secretariat. Senior officials, including Chief Secretary L.K. Tripathy and Public Works Secretary S. Audiseshiah were present.
The Kattalai barrage scheme will enable the creation of a small reservoir of 1.04 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) capacity.
According to an official document, a 255-km-long canal will be formed south of the Bed Regulator to carry the floodwater. In times of floods, the canal can carry 5.4 tmcft of water over 10 days in a year. The other two links (Pennaiyar-Cheyyar and Tamiraparani-Karumeniyar and Nambiyar) envisage the diversion of 1.8 tmcft and 2.5 tmcft annually. Their estimated cost is Rs. 500 crore.
Mr. Durai Murugan said he was planning to hold a meeting of Irrigation Ministers of riparian States.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Rajasthan to get Narmada water in 2 months </b>
Lokpal Sethi | Jaipur
After waiting for years, Rajasthan is all set to get the Narmada water from Gujarat within the next two months.
The Gujarat Government, early this week, released about 50 cusec water from Sardar Sarovar Dam in Narmada canal, which was completed recently.
The water, which was released to check the course of 458 km long canal, would reach Silu village in Jalore district by March15.
After checking the flow in the river, about 500 cusec of water would be released in the canal by May-June month, according to official sources.
<b>The water would not only solve the drinking water problem in districts of Jalore, Sirohi, Barmer and Jaisalmer but would also provide irrigation facilities in these areas, which has perennial water shortage.</b>
According to original schedule Rajasthan was to get water from Narmada river about two years back, but delay in construction of the canal, for which Rajasthan Government had paid the full amount to Gujarat, resulted in postponing the schedule more than once. In fact, completion of Narmada canal was over before the Gujarat Assembly election, but Narendra Modi Government had postponed as it would have become a major election issue there.
The Rajasthan Government had already prepared a Rs 3,000-crore plan to provide drinking water to about 1,000 villages apart from irrigation facilities in 40,000 hectare of land in Jalore and Barmer districts.
This is great, i hope this will bring prosperity.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Rs 1700 cr down the drain; Ganga, Yamuna dirtiest</b>
Pioneer News Service | New Delhi
Two of Indiaâs most sacred rivers remain the most dirty too, decades-long efforts to clean them up notwithstanding.
After almost 25 years of consistently promising clean Ganga and Yamuna rivers, the Government finally admitted failure in the Lok Sabha on Friday.<b> It said the two rivers were no cleaner than what they were when the drive began. And this, after spending Rs 1700 crore on the projects!</b>
<b>Replying to a calling attention motion by BJP MP Yogi Adityanath on checking pollution in rivers and lakes in India, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said, âThe question is whether the quality of Ganga and Yamuna has improved. I can always give you figures to prove that it has. We can always find a stretch or two where we can test the water and give you numbers to prove that the water quality has indeed improved. But I myself donât believe the numbers. Because the true test for the layman is: Do the rivers look cleaner than what they used to 20 years back? I admit with full responsibility that Ganga and Yamuna are no cleaner than what they were 20 years back.â</b>
He said a âdetermined and renewed effortâ was required to cleanse these major rivers. The Minister said that the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) was started in 1985, with Rs 817 crore being spent on GAP Phases I and II. Similarly, the Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) was started in 1996, with Rs 680 crore spent in Phase I. The second phase began in December 2004 with a sanction of Rs 624 crore, of which Rs 190 crore have been spent so far.
<b>Ramesh said that the main problem was the sewage treatment plants (STPs), which never functioned to their full capacity. "STPs have not run to their full capacity because of the inability of municipal authorities to operate and maintain them properly.</b>" He said that the Ministry has prepared a proposal and gone before the 13th Finance Commission that for the next five years the full cost of operation and maintenance of STPs would be borne by the Centre. "We have to go from a 'town approach' to a 'basin-based approach'. <b>We will go from a sewage treatment plant approach to sewage reuse approach, which would also have measures like afforestation along the river banks.</b>"
Referring to the National Ganga River Basin Authority, headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said the global tender for project consultants to prepare a basin management plan has attracted 30 bids and the selection would be finalised in the next two months.
they will waste another 1700 crores, inplace of using IAS officers drainage hole, give this to private organisation, they will do better job. Just keep these project out of filthy IAS Cadre.