Water

How logical is interlinking of rivers?

The idea of inter-linking Indian rivers is nothing new. Originally mooted by Sir Arthur Cotton during the days of the British Raj, to transfer excess water from perennial Himalayan rivers to the rain-fed peninsular rivers , the scheme was revisited by Dr K L Rao, the then minister for power and irrigation in the cabinet of Indira Gandhi, in 1972 (Mehta, 2013). Cotton’s prime concern was for an inland navigational network, while Rao’s was for irrigation and power (Shiva and Jalees, 2003). https://www.geographyandyou.com/climate-change/water/rivers-of-india-perilous-or-promising/ Rao put forward the ‘Ganga-Cauvery link’ for the creation of a ‘National Water Grid’ (Rao 1975); furthered by Captain Dinshaw Dastur in 1977 under his ‘Garland Canal’ scheme, wherein the Himalayan waters would be fed in to the peninsular parts of the country by means of pipelines. Although both the proposals were rejected due to the costs involved, and lack of technological feasibility, the interest in the scheme persisted. https://www.geographyandyou.com/climate-change/water/ten-major-river-basins-india/ The then-Ministry of Irrigation (the Ministry of Water Resources, MoWR) conceived a plan for ‘National Perspectives for Water Development’ in August 1980 (MoWR, 1980).This paved the way for the establishment of the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) in 1982 to work out basin-wise surpluses and deficits and explore possibilities of storage, links and transfers. The NWDA identified 30 river links, which would connect every major river in the Indian mainland, and prepared...

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