Sunday, July 29, 2012

Interlinking of Rivers - Is it Important / Feasible ?

Interlinking of Rivers – Is It Important or even Feasible ???
                                                Short and to the point article on the issue of Interlinkng of Rivers.      [ 270 Words]

Supreme Court has directed the centre to constitute a special committee to pursue the decades old proposal of interlinking of Himalayan and Peninsular rivers. The Supreme Court’s ruling seems to be based on the principle of utilisation of excess water on one side of the nation to the other side when it runs water deficit.

But this principle is as difficult to put into practice as easy it might be to put on paper. Interlinking of rivers shall involve huge displacement of people.

¥ Taking note of the already hue and cry over the displacements due to industry like POSCO, comparing it with the interlinking project one could think what response it would evoke the moment thousands of villages which fall on the linkage are asked to evacuate.

¥ Even this proposal does not consider environmental impact assessment or the cost-benefit analysis as the water would be required to pump up the slope and also there would be need to modify the landscapes to allow for linking. The modification would result in permanent damage to the ecology.

¥ The programme completely ignores the concerns of Bangladesh which is a lower riparian state in the Himalayan river basin.

¥ The sharing of one river between two states causes so much anxiety, what would happen when the states would learn that the waters would now be shared among more states.

ð The only way forward is water conservation and better utilisation of water, avoiding pollution of the water, efficient irrigation practices and water harvesting. This would in the long run serve better than linking rivers which are polluted just few kilometres down the stream.

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