Water is one of the most important natural resource present on earth and it is the availability of water that sustains all aspects of life in a way that no other resource can. According to United Nations agencies and the World Bank the problem of water crises will further escalate in the future, creating serious problems for humankind and the environment. Now days we hear the news that fight started due to sharing of water or some international disputes among different countries regarding sharing of water. The Indus Water treaty between India and Pakistan and Farakkha Barrage Water Sharing between India and Bangladesh are best example. An acceptable water sharing policy must be their between neighboring countries so that they can avail the water necessary for sustaining the life. These type of issues are very rampant among developing nation but can be also encountered in other countries as well. But what about the water available within one country? Many countries in the world has very good river system but they are able to harness the water of river only during the time when river flows at its peak. Rest of the year the countries face severe drought and not able to produce enough crop for their own population. The same type of problem India faces every year as India is 7th largest country in the world and needs a lot of water for irrigation purpose. But unfortunately India receives rainfall only in 4 months i.e. during the monsoons and it is during this time of the year that rivers of India flow in its full might. During this time of the year these rivers bring flood to many part of the country and then once the rainy season gets over major part of India faces drought. Keeping this in mind the Government of India came out with the plan of Interlinking of the Rivers of the India. Under the Interlinking of Rivers major rivers of India would be linked to one another via a network of channels so that the water can be shared among different rivers and at the same time reduce the deadly effects of drought. The Interlinking of River was proposed by India’s National Water Development Agency (NWDA) has suggested the inter-linking of rivers of the country. Before proceeding further let me explain few pints whey Interlining of Rivers is a necessary thing for whole world and especially for India.
After discussing the importance of Interlinking of Rivers in India lets talk about how the project would be executed and the cost incurred while completing this project.
The interlinking of Rivers was planned in difference phases. First phase consisted of only study and feasibility of project. The entire project was divided into two parts 1: Himalayan Rivers Development & 2: Peninsular Rivers Development. Himalayan Rivers Development Project targets construction of storage reservoirs on the main Ganges River and the Brahmaputra River and their principal tributaries in India and Nepal. The interlinking project will provide irrigation to about 22 million hectares of land and will generate 30million kilo watt of hydroelectricity. The only problem in this would be a equal water sharing negation from all the neighboring country of India. This part will consist of construction of Dams on Ganges and Bhramaputra River in India and also in Nepal and Bhutan for storage of water. The Peninsular River Project consist of Interlinking of following rivers.
The peninsular project will add an additional 25 million hectares of land for irrigation and it will help in controlling the seasonal floods caused by rivers. This project aims to divert water from eastern part of India to drought hit western part. Under Phase I Krishna and Kaveri the two important rivers of Peninsular India would all be inter-linked by canals. Reservoirs and dams would be built along the course of these rivers. Under Phase II, rivers that flow west to the north of Mumbai and the south of Tapi in Gujrat would be inter-linked. In Phase 3, the Ken and Chambal rivers would be inter-linked to serve regional water needs of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Over Phase 4, a number of west-flowing rivers in the Western Ghats, would be inter-linked for irrigation purposes to east flowing rivers such as Cauvery and Krishna.
The cost of implementation a project of such a huge size is mammoth and it was estimated to be around $ 1400 billion in year 2002. Now it has been nearly 15 years and the cost of implementation of the same project would have increased at least twice. The cost is very high but looking at the long term purpose of such an ambitious project givers hope that India can achieve a better irrigation infrastructure and control on seasonal floods.