River Interlinking

Bedti-Varada Interlinking Project

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Bedti-Varada Interlinking Project

Mains level : River interlinking and associated issues

Environmental groups in Karnataka have criticised the project to link the Bedti and Varada rivers in Karnataka, calling it ‘unscientific’ and a ‘waste of public money’.

Bedti-Varada Interlinking Project

  • The Bedti-Aghanashini-Varade river-linking project was also included in the country’s major rivers project devised by the then PM Vajpayee government.
  • The Central Government had created a task force to prepare action plans for interlinking the riverbeds in 2002.
  • The project cost and the source of investments were ascertained and suggested that the project be taken up in 2016.

Key details

  • The Bedti-Varada project was envisaged in 1992 as one to supply drinking water by the then government.
  • The plan aims to link the Bedti, a river flowing west into the Arabian Sea, with the Varada, a tributary of the Tungabhadra river, which flows into the Krishna, which in turn flows into the Bay of Bengal.
  • A massive dam will be erected at Hirevadatti in Gadag district under the project. A second dam will be built on the Pattanahalla river at Menasagoda in Sirsi, Uttara Kannada district.
  • Both dams will take water to the Varada via tunnels of length 6.3 kilometres and 2.2-km. The water will reach at a place called Kengre.
  • It will then go down a 6.88 km tunnel to Hakkalumane, where it will join the Varada.
  • The project thus envisages taking water from the water surplus Sirsi-Yellapura region of Uttara Kannada district to the arid Raichur, Gadag and Koppal districts.

Why was this project rolled out?

  • The detailed project reports estimates that the project will irrigate 1.06 lakh hectares, of which 21% will grow cotton, followed by paddy (15%), groundnut (15%), jowar (14%) and other crops.
  • The water pumped from Uttara Kannada will help end the agriculture crisis.

Why activists are disgusted over the project?

  • The plan aims to link the Bedti, a river flowing west into the Arabian Sea, with the Varada, a tributary of the Tungabhadra River, which flows into the Krishna, which in turn flows into the Bay of Bengal.
  • The activists claimed that the project will not ensure water to the places that are intended to be the beneficiaries.
  • It would only benefit contractors, cement, iron and granite industries as well as politicians’ lobbying groups.

Back2Basics:

[Burning Issue] Interlinking of Rivers in India

 

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