Interlinking Of Rivers In India Issues And Concerns Pdf
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- Interlinking of Rivers in India: International and Regional Legal Aspects
- Interlinking of River: Issues and Challenges
- INTERLINKING OF RIVERS IN INDIA: ISSUES & CHALLENGES
Interlinking of Rivers in India: International and Regional Legal Aspects
The rivers in India are truly speaking not only life-line of masses but also for wild-life. The rivers play a vital role in the lives of the Indian people.
The river systems help us in irrigation, potable water, cheap transportation, electricity as well as a source of livelihood for our ever increasing population. Some of the major cities of India are situated at the banks of holy rivers.
Proper management of river water is the need of the hour. Indian agriculture largely depends upon Monsoon which is always uncertain in nature.
Hence, there is a severe problem of lack of irrigation in one region and water logging in others. Damage to crops due to drought and pitiable drainage facility could be managed. Depleting and decreasing status of water resources may be one of the most critical resource issues of the 21st century. The core objectives of the paper are to study issues and challenges in interlinking of rivers in India and to study environmental impact of Inter-River Linking Project IRL.
At the backdrop of this, the present paper is an attempt to study issues and challenges in interlinking of rivers in India from the point of view of society at large. Key words: Water, environment, society, masses, management. United Nations agencies and the World Bank have claimed that these scarcities will escalate in the future, creating serious problems for humankind and the environment.
India needs to adopt a crystal-clear water mission that can help us to use available water resources to fields, villages, towns and industries round the year, without harming our environment. Keeping in mind the increasing demand for water, the government of India has developed a new National Water Policy which claims that water is a prime natural resource, a basic need and a precious national asset.
It is a mega project that engages money, resources, engineering, management and human understanding. It is designed to ease water shortages in western and southern India and aims to link 30 major rivers. It will also involve diverting the Ganges and the Brahmaputra two of India s biggest rivers. It is expected that properly planned water resource development and management could alleviate poverty, improve the quality of life, and reduce regional disparities, better law and order situation and manage the integrity of the natural environment.
The core objectives of the paper are to understand the historical background of Interlinking River Projects and to discuss issues and challenges pertaining to Interlinking River Projects. It was Sir Arthur Cotton who had originally proposed the networking of rivers more than a century ago, and Dr. Indira Gandhi, revived this proposal in Both were no doubt eminent engineers.
Cotton s prime concern was for inland navigational network and Dr. Rao s concern was for irrigation and power. Shiva and Jalees, The then-ministry of Irrigation now the Ministry of Water Resources conceived a plan for National Perspectives for Water Development in August Ministry of Water Resources, This paved the way for the establishment of the National Water Development Agency NWDA in to work out basinwise surpluses and deficits and explore possibilities of storage, links and transfers, has identified 30 river links, which would connect every major river in the Indian mainland, and has prepared a feasibility report on six of these.
The Supreme Court has asked the Government of India to complete all planning required to launch the project by and these projects of inter-basin transfers be completed in the next 10 years or so.
Shah and Raju studied the nature and pattern of the development of water markets across regions of India considering the lift irrigation potential as a major criterion. Even in the international context, supply sharing has been a matter of big vs small, with problems over supply in Nepal, Bangladesh, and India.
In issues of inter-basin transfers, such diversions do indeed cause the liveliest concerns, often leading to protests and resistance in the exporting region, sparked by the elemental importance of water for life and the economy Verghese, On governance, Ramaswamy Iyer , writes that the most visible manifestation of water politics has been in inter-state river-water disputes. The dispute over the sharing of Cauvery waters has assumed enormous importance in the politics of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Similarly, the disputes over Ravi-Beas waters have occupied Punjab and Haryana. Verghese , one of its few champions outside the government, suggests it should be viewed as a year project.
Verghese found ILR variously described as frighteningly grandiose, a misapplied vision, extravagantly stupid, a case of putting the cart before the horse, a sub-continental fiasco, a flood of nonsense, a dangerous delusion or a case of hydrohubris.
According to Iyer It amounts to nothing less than the redrawing of the geography of the country. According to Bandyopadhyaya and Praveen , the proposal claims to package an uncertain and questionable idea as a desirable one. Rath called the ILR a pie in the sky because he, like many others, is skeptical of the government s capacity to mobilize the kind of investable funds ILR demands. Shukla and Asthana reveal the challenges inherent in the government s policy decision to interlink rivers as envisaged by the bureaucratic agency of state power, a culture of scientific expertise, a perceived need to mobilize global capital, and the opposition to such plans engendered by the agency of civil society in a bid to examine how different actors conceptualize the project through a discursive approach.
It is expected that the water demand of nonfood grain crops will further accelerate with changing consumption patterns Amarasinghe et al, a; b. Shah et al layout seven reasons why revisiting the river linking issue is a good idea.
Reddy , in his most comprehensive review of water pricing as a demand management option, concludes that the ability of water pricing to influence water use in India is severely constrained both by the nature and level of water rates as well as by the lack of effective institutional and technical conditions.
Shilp et al show that the existing pattern of interstate virtual water trade is exacerbating scarcities in already water scarce states and that rather than being dictated by water endowments, virtual water flows are influenced by other factors such as per capita gross cropped area and access to secured markets.
This was a study conducted on the basis of secondary data available from various sources along with literature review. In literature review, research information from to was collected and studied. The secondary data was collected from magazines, books, internet, industry journals etc. Literature review has shown prior research work done in this area. Significant inputs were found in the subject matter with reference to interlinking rivers projects.
The impact on the environment has been analysed. All interlinking schemes are aimed at transferring of water from one river system to another or by lifting across natural basins. The project will build 30 links and some storages to connect 37 Himalayan and Peninsular rivers to form a gigantic South Asian water grid.
The canals, planned to be 50 to meters wide and more than 6 meters deep, would facilitate navigation. Similarly, mega watt would be required to lift water across major watershed ridges by up to meters. The Fig. River Links under the National Perspective Plan. Source: National Water Development Agency. Issues and challenges Inter-River Linking Project involves multifaceted issues and challenges related to economic, ecological, and social costs.
On this note, Iyer very sharply states that We have had great difficulty in completing even a single project successfully and we want to embark on thirty massive projects at the same time. IRL project has caused much anger and protest in our neighbouring nation, Bangladesh.
Indian National Water Development Agency plans to dig hundreds of reservoirs and more than canals. This may trigger an alarm among environmentalists to raise their voice against this plan. Environmentalists are quite concerned about the ecological impact of the project of such huge magnitude. Shiva very aptly remarked that the water flowing into the sea is not waste; it is a crucial link in the water cycle.
With the link broken, the ecological balance of land and oceans, freshwater and sea water, also gets disrupted Shiva considered ILR violence to nature: Violence is not intrinsic to the use of river waters for human needs.
It is a particular characteristic of gigantic river valley projects which work against, and not with, the logic of the river. As this project is of massive estimated cost, a long term planning and a sound financial simulation are required to meet the standard of due diligence for such proposals.
The huge expenditure may likely generate fiscal problems that are difficult to handle. The maintenance cost and physical position of the dams, canals, tunnels, and captive electric power generation will also involve huge financial burdens. This certainly requires financial assistance from the private sector, as well as global capital agencies.
Mobilization of global capital may ultimately entail the risk of destroying social welfare measures. The rehabilitation of project-affected people in water infrastructure projects will also pose a burning question before the concerned authorities.
The construction of reservoirs and river linking canals in the peninsular component alone expect to displace more than , people and submerge large areas of forest, agriculture and non-agriculture land. Transfer of water is bound to be unacceptable as no state is likely to transfer water to another foregoing possible future use of such water.
Domestic and regional geo-politics play a pivotal role on the discussions on ILR. As of now, there is no mechanism as of now to deal with matters concerning interbasin transfers. There are also important institutional and legal issues to be sorted out. Some of the ILR inter-linking of rivers schemes have international implications, with a possible impact on countries like Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Each of the 30 schemes of the ILR is supposed to get through several statutory, legal and procedural steps. None of the schemes have gone through any of it. The Union ministry of environment and forests has already said no to the project. No state is ready to give water to another state. In India s constitution, water is essentially a state subject.
Unfortunately there is no comprehensive assessment of all such possible impacts for a single link in any credible way. Bandyopadhyay asked the question How are the environmental damages that may be caused by the interlinking project identified and their financial costs estimated, if at all? Martin clearly warned that linking rivers like straight pipelines without looking at the ecological impact may be very harmful for our environment.
Scientists are also doubtful that river diversion may bring significant changes in the physical and chemical compositions of the sediment load, river morphology and the shape of the delta formed at the river basin. Water related diseases, such as Malaria, and Filariasis can spread through stagnant or slow moving water in the irrigation command area. The ecologically un-informed economic development activities, like widespread waterlogging and the resulting desertification in the catchment areas of many large irrigation projects, can also be cited.
Roy states that, In India, fifty million people are estimated to have been displaced in the last five decades by the construction of dams, power plants, highways and such other infrastructure development projects. Subsequently no more than one-fourth of them could be assisted to regain their livelihoods. Wolfensohn remarked that Such social injustice can destroy economic and political advances. With the link broken, the ecological balance of land and oceans, freshwater and sea water, is also disrupted Shiva A section of scientists argue that large dams and reservoirs also cause earthquakes.
The controversies over koina dam, Tehri dam are few such examples. In view of a spate of earthquakes being experienced, the presence of large number of reservoirs will prove to be disastrous in case of any such eventuality. Inter-linking a toxic river with a non-toxic one will have a devastating impact on all our rivers and, consequently, on all human beings and wild life.
Shiva considers ILR to be an act of violence against nature: Violence is not intrinsic to the use of river waters for human needs. It is a particular characteristic of gigantic river valley projects that work against, and not with, the logic of the river.
These projects are based on reductionist assumptions, which relate water use not to nature s processes but to the processes of revenue and profit generation Rivers, instead of being seen as sources of life, become sources of cash.
In Worster s words, the river ends up becoming an assembly line, rolling increasingly toward the goal of unlimited production.
Interlinking of River: Issues and Challenges
Inter-basin water transfers are complex human interventions on natural systems that can have profound adverse as well as beneficial social, economic and environmental implications. Indias plan to interlink its rivers ILR and to transfer water may,MoreInter-basin water transfers are complex human interventions on natural systems that can have profound adverse as well as beneficial social, economic and environmental implications. Indias plan to interlink its rivers ILR and to transfer water may, according to one set of views, generate positive benefits through improved and expanded irrigation and may also contribute to flood and drought hazards mitigation for India, although the magnitudes are debatable. However, there are opposing views, in the context of India itself, that the interlinking plan is economically prohibitive, fraught with uncertainties, and has potential for disastrous and irreversible adverse after-effects. Water deficit can be reduced through improved water management without large scale engineering interventions. Moreover many of the rivers involved, particularly in the Himalayan component, are international and, therefore, the scheme has major implications for other riparians. Indeed, the planned transfer of water from the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers will adversely impact Bangladesh socially, economically and environmentallyunless arrangements are made to maintain historical flows, which is unlikely to be feasible.
Climate change events cause erratic spatial and temporal variability in rainfall, temperature, humidity, etc. At the same time, water availability is also under pressure due to climate change and overexploitation of water resources. In a monsoonal climate that is already erratic and highly seasonal in nature, this increased variability due to climate change will further impact water availability and salt water intrusion. To overcome such problems, one of the most effective ways is interlinking of rivers. It is the interbasin water transfer from the water surplus rivers to water deficit rivers or regions.
The core objectives of the paper are to study issues and challenges in interlinking of rivers in India and to study environmental impact of Inter-River Linking Project.
INTERLINKING OF RIVERS IN INDIA: ISSUES & CHALLENGES
Though the interlinking of river programme is the most ambitious anti-poverty measure ever conceptualised by the Indian Government, it has attracted a lot of criticism due to a wide of range of social, political, economic and environmental costs associated with it. India is one of the few countries in the world gifted with considerable water resources.
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The rivers in India are truly speaking not only life-line of masses but also for wild-life. The rivers play a vital role in the lives of the Indian people. The river systems help us in irrigation, potable water, cheap transportation, electricity as well as a source of livelihood for our ever increasing population. Some of the major cities of India are situated at the banks of holy rivers. Proper management of river water is the need of the hour.
The Indian Rivers Inter-link is a proposed large-scale civil engineering project that aims to effectively manage water resources in India by linking Indian rivers by a network of reservoirs and canals to enhance irrigation and groundwater recharge , reduce persistent floods in some parts and water shortages in other parts of India. The Inter-link project has been split into three parts: a northern Himalayan rivers inter-link component, a southern Peninsular component and starting , an intrastate rivers linking component. NWDA has studied and prepared reports on 14 inter-link projects for Himalayan component, 16 inter-link projects for Peninsular component and 37 intrastate river linking projects. The average rainfall in India is about 4, billion cubic metres, but most of India's rainfall comes over a 4-month period — June through September. Furthermore, the rain across the very large nation is not uniform, the east and north gets most of the rain, while the west and south get less. This geographical and time variance in availability of natural water versus the year round demand for irrigation, drinking and industrial water creates a demand-supply gap, that has been worsening with India's rising population.
After recording above normal rains between July 6 and July 11, monsoon appears to be slowing down, sparking concerns in the agriculture sector, according to experts. The sluggish monsoon has impacted the sowing of summer cops. But in northeastern India, floods have caused widespread damage, with several lives being lost as a result of flooding. According to some, this is an engineered panacea that will reduce persistent floods in some parts and water shortages in other parts besides facilitating the generation of hydroelectricity for an increasingly power hungry country. It has been split into three parts:. The NWDA has studied and prepared reports on 14 projects for the Himalayan region, 16 projects for the peninsular India component and 36 intra-State river interlinking projects.