River Interlinking

River Interlinking

Ken-Betwa Link Project (KBLP)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Ken-Betwa Linking Project

Mains level : River interlinking

In the presence of PM and Jal Shakti Minister, the CMs of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have signed an agreement to implement the Ken Betwa Link Project (KBLP).

Must read:

Interlinking of rivers: Significance & Challenges

What is the Ken Betwa Link Project?

  • The Ken-Betwa Link Project is the first project under the National Perspective Plan for the interlinking of rivers.
  • Under this project, water from the Ken River will be transferred to the Betwa river. Both these rivers are tributaries of the river Yamuna.
  • The project is expected to provide annual irrigation of 10.62 lakh hectares, drinking water supply to about 62 lakh people and also generate 103 MW of hydropower.

The Project has two phases:

  • Under Phase-I, one of the components — Daudhan dam complex and its appurtenances like Low Level Tunnel, High Level Tunnel, Ken-Betwa link canal and Power houses — will be completed.
  • While in the Phase-II, three components — Lower Orr dam, Bina complex project and Kotha barrage — will be constructed.

Regions benefitting from KBLP

  • The project lies in Bundelkhand, a drought-prone region, which spreads across 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
  • It will be of immense benefit to the water-starved region of Bundelkhand, especially in the districts of Panna, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Sagar, Damoh, Datia, Vidisha, Shivpuri and Raisen of Madhya Pradesh and Banda, Mahoba, Jhansi and Lalitpur of Uttar Pradesh.
  • It will pave the way for more interlinking of river projects to ensure that scarcity of water does not become an inhibitor to development in the country.

What about the Panna tiger reserve?

  • Out of the 6,017 ha of forest area coming under submergence of Daudhan dam of Ken Betwa Link Project, 4,206 ha of the area lies within the core tiger habitat of Panna Tiger Reserve.

Previous examples of river-linking

  • In the past, several river linking projects have been taken up. For instance, under the Periyar Project, the transfer of water from the Periyar basin to the Vaigai basin was envisaged.
  • It was commissioned in 1895.
  • Similarly, other projects such as Parambikulam Aliyar, Kurnool Cudappah Canal, Telugu Ganga Project, and Ravi-Beas-Sutlej were undertaken.

Recent developments on the interlinking of rivers in India

  • In the 1970s, the idea of transferring surplus water from a river to a water-deficit area was mooted by the then Union Irrigation Minister Dr K L Rao.
  • Rao, who himself was an engineer, suggested the construction of a National Water Grid for transferring water from water-rich areas to water-deficit areas.
  • Similarly, Captain Dinshaw J Dastur proposed the Garland Canal to redistribute water from one area to another.
  • However, the government did not pursue these two ideas further.

The National Perspective Plan

  • It was in August, 1980 that the Ministry of Irrigation prepared a National Perspective Plan (NNP) for water resources development envisaging inter-basin water transfer in the country.
  • The NPP comprised two components: (i) Himalayan Rivers Development; and (ii) Peninsular Rivers Development.
  • Based on the NPP, the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) identified 30 river links—16 under the Peninsular component and 14 under the Himalayan Component.
  • Later, the river linking idea was revived under the then Vajpayee Government.

Ken Betwa Link Project is one of the 16 river linking projects under the Peninsular component.

Clearances required for a river-linking project

  • Generally, 4-5 types of clearances are required for the interlinking of river projects.
  • These are Techno-economic (given by the Central Water Commission); Forest Clearance and Environmental clearance (Ministry of Environment & Forests); Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) Plan of Tribal Population (Ministry of Tribal Affairs) and Wildlife clearance (Central Empowered Committee).

River Interlinking

Danube-Oder-Elbe Canal

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Rivers mentioned in the newscard

Mains level : Not Much

 

Environmental organisations from across central and Eastern Europe have criticised a major project intending to link three rivers and provide seamless navigation between three of Europe’s peripheral seas, according to a statement.

Danube-Oder-Elbe Canal

  • For centuries Europe’s rulers have dreamed of construction of a huge Y-shaped canal connecting the Elbe, Oder and Danube rivers, most of which would be on Czech territory.
  • The Canal intends to connect the Danube, Oder and Elbe rivers and thus provide another navigable link from the Black Sea to the North and Baltic Seas.
  • The Main-Danube Canal already provided a navigable connection between the Black Sea and the North Sea.
  • Several hundred kilometres of artificial waterways would have to be built for the canal, according to the statement.
  • Critics have called on the European Commission to ensure that the project be excluded from EU funding, and not be included as part of the Trans-European Transport Network.

River Interlinking

National Interlinking of Rivers Authority (NIRA)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : National Interlinking of Rivers Authority (NIRA)

Mains level : Interlinking of rivers

 

 

The Central government is working on the establishment of an exclusive body to implement projects for linking rivers.

National Interlinking of Rivers Authority

  • To be called the NIRA, the proposed body is expected to take up both inter-State and intra-State projects.
  • It will also make arrangements for generating up funds, internally and externally.
  • Headed by Union Minister of Jal Shakti, the panel includes Irrigation or Water Resources Ministers and Secretaries of States.
  • It is being assisted by a Task Force for ILR, which is a committee of experts essentially drawn from the Jal Shakti Ministry, Central Water Commission and the NWDA.

About National River Linking Project (NRLP)

  • The NRLP formally known as the National Perspective Plan, envisages the transfer of water from water ‘surplus’ basins where there is flooding to water ‘deficit’ basins where there is drought/scarcity, through inter-basin water transfer projects.
  • It is designed to ease water shortages in western and southern India while mitigating the impacts of recurrent floods in the eastern parts of the Ganga basin.
  • Interlinking of rivers was conceived more than 125 years ago by Sir Arthur Cotton, mainly to facilitate trade but it was not implemented then.
  • The proposed NRLP, now comprises 29 canals totalling 9,600 km, will involve the movement of 245 trillion litres of water.
  • If and when implemented, it will be one of the biggest inter-basin water transfer projects in the world.

ILR Projects in India

  • As of now, six ILR projects — the Ken-Betwa, Damanganga- Pinjal, Par-Tapi-Narmada, Manas-Sankosh-Teesta-Ganga, Mahanadi-Godavari and Godavari-Cauvery (Grand Anicut) — have been under examination of the authorities.
  • The Ken-Betwa ILR is India’s first such project.
  • With regard to the peninsular rivers, the Centre has chosen to focus on the Godavari-Cauvery link than the earlier proposal to link the Mahanadi-Godavari-Krishna-Pennar-Cauvery rivers.

Issues and Concerns

Ecological issues

One of the major concerns is that rivers change their course in 70–100 years and thus once they are linked, future change of course could create huge practical problems for the project.

Aqua life

A number of leading environmentalists are of the opinion that the project could be an ecological disaster. There would be a decrease in downstream flows resulting in reduction of fresh water inflows into the seas seriously jeopardizing aquatic life.

Deforestation

Creation of canals would need large areas of land resulting in large scale deforestation in certain areas.

Areas getting submerged

Possibility of new dams comes with the threat of large otherwise habitable or reserved land getting submerged under water or surface water. Fertile deltas will be under threat, with coastal erosion expected to threaten the land and livelihoods of local economies that support 160 million people.

Displacement of people

As large strips of land might have to be converted to canals, a considerable population living in these areas must need to be rehabilitated to new areas.

Dirtying of clean water

As the rivers interlink, rivers with dirty water will get connected to rivers with clean water, hence dirtying the clean water.

Disrupting of ecological flow

On implementation, water discharge in 23 out of 29 rivers will reduce considerably, they say. The Ganga will see a 24% decrease in flow. Its tributaries Gandak (-68%) and Ghaghara (-55%) will be the worst affected. While the Brahmaputra will see only a 6% loss, its tributaries will see massive flow reductions: Manas (-73%), Sankosh (-72%) and Raidhak (-53%). Changes in water flow and trapping of silt in reservoirs will see a dip in the sediment deposited by rivers.


Must read:

https://www.indiawaterportal.org/articles/national-river-linking-project-dream-or-disaster

River Interlinking

[pib] Godavari and Cauvery River Linking Project

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Godavari– Cauvery Link Project

Mains level : Interlinking of rivers

 

The draft Detailed Project Report (DPR) of the Godavari and Cauvery River Linking Project has been completed by National Water Development Agency (NWDA).

Godavari– Cauvery Link Project

  • The project consists of 3 links viz., Godavari (Inchampalli/Janampet) – Krishna (Nagarjunasagar), Krishna (Nagarjunasagar) – Pennar (Somasila) and Pennar (Somasila) – Cauvery (Grand Anicut).
  • This proposal to link Godavari, which is prone to flooding, and Krishna, which doesn’t have enough water, has been around for several decades.
  • While river-interlinking for the purposes of navigation as an idea was mooted by the British in India, in 1972, engineer and Union Minister KL Rao proposed the linking of Godavari and Krishna for irrigation.
  • The decades-old proposal finally took shape in the 2000s, and in 2016, the Andhra government linked the two rivers with the Pattiseema-Polavaram Lift Irrigation project, in Andhra’s West Godavari district.

River Interlinking

Govt. plans Godavari-Cauvery interlinking

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, and Railways etc.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Godavari-Cauvery interlinking project

Mains level: Enhancing cargo transport with the help of Inland Waterways


News

  • Union Ministry for Road Transport and Highways, Shipping and Water Resources has revealed Detailed Project Report (DPR) to take the backwaters of the Godavari up to the Cauvery river in Tamil Nadu.

Godavari-Cauvery Interlinking

  1. The DPR for the river inter-linking project has already been prepared and is in the process of being submitted to the Cabinet. It is estimated to cost ₹60,000 crore.
  2. 1,100 tmcft of the backwater of the Godavari river was going into the sea and there was a dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over 45 tmcft of it.
  3. To solve the crisis, the Centre has decided to link up the above rivers.
  4. Once the Cabinet gives its nod, funds will be raised from the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank.
  5. It will mitigate the scarcity of water in A.P., Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu.
  6. It was former PM Vajpayee who conceived the idea of linking rivers from Ganga to Cauvery.

Benefits of the Project

  1. The backwaters will be carried through Krishna and Penna using steel pipes instead of developing canals en route as suggested by a non-resident engineer from Andhra Pradesh.
  2. By doing so, wastage of water from canals could be prevented and overall cost reduced.
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