Interlinking Rivers in India: Advantages and Disadvantages

The purpose of interlinking the rivers is to join the Indian rivers through reservoirs and canals. This will solve the problems of flood and will provide water throughout the year. Farmers will also get benefit as they will not be dependent on monsoon for water etc. This article is based on the river linking project, in which its history and the benefits of this project are covered.
Advantages and Disadvantages of interlinking the rivers in India
Advantages and Disadvantages of interlinking the rivers in India

The interlinking of river project is a Civil Engineering project, which aims to connect Indian rivers through reservoirs and canals. The farmers will not have to depend on the monsoon for cultivation and also the excess or lack of water can be overcome during flood or drought. You will be surprised to know that India has approx four percent of the water available, and India's population is around 16 percent of the world's population. But every year, hundreds of millions of cubic cusec water flows into the ocean and India has to meet its needs with only 4 percent of the water.
Every project has two aspects, but we should focus on how much more people will get benefit from this project. This article is based on the interlinking of the river project, in which its history and the benefits of this project are explained.
What is the interlinking River project?
This project will connect 60 rivers of India, including river Ganga. Hopefully, with the help of this project, there will be a reduction in the dependence of farmers on uncertain monsoon rains and there will also be millions of cultivated land for irrigation. This project is divided into three parts: North Himalayan river link constituents; Southern Peninsular Component starting from 2005, Interstate interlinking of rivers. This project is being managed under the National Water Development Authority of India (NWDA), Ministry of Water Resources.
History of interlinking River project

National River linking project
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With this project since the long debate is going on. In India, there are areas where an excess of water in some rivers are there and vice versa.
- First of all, the idea of linking rivers was presented by Sir Arthur Cotton, chief engineer of the Madras Presidency in 1919, 150 years ago.
- In 1960, the then Minister of State for Energy and Irrigation, K. L. Rao, revived this idea by presenting the idea of linking Ganga and Cauvery rivers.
- In 1982, the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi formed the National Water Development Agency.
- On 31 October 2002, the Supreme Court after hearing a public interest petition asked the Central Government to complete this plan expeditiously, for it to generate a plan by 2003 and also emphasized to fulfill it by 2016.
- Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had formed a task force under the chairmanship of Suresh Prabhu in 2003 and it was estimated that this project would cost about 56 billion crore rupees.
- In 2012, the Supreme Court again directed the Central Government to start this project in the time frame so that the cost could not be increased due to the increased time.
- Firstly in 2017, the Ken-Betwa link project will be joined, in which parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are included and its estimated cost will be worth 10 thousand crores. Under this project, additional water from the Madhya Pradesh will be brought to the Betwa River in Uttar Pradesh through a canal of 231 km. This will result in irrigation of one lakh 27 thousand hectares of land in Bundelkhand, as it is the most drought-affected area.

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Benefits of Interlinking River Project

Proposed Projects of NRLP


- This project can solve the problem of drought and flood because at the time of need the river which causes flood can give water to the area of the river which has a shortage of water because the water can be stored or water can be transferred from water surplus area to the deficit. Ganga and the Brahmaputra region can get rid of floods that come every year with the help of this project.
- The irrigation, land will also increase by about 15 percent.
- 15,000 km of river and 10,000 km of navigation will be developed. Thereby reducing the transportation cost.
- Large scale afforestation and about 3,000 tourist spots will be built.
- This project will solve the problems of drinking water and financially also will solve the problem.
- It is also possible to get jobs for landless farmers in rural areas.
Disadvantages of Interlinking River Project
There may be advantages as well as disadvantages of the project. Rivers are being considered an integral part of our life from the beginning, and any kind of human intervention can prove to be destructive. For the completion of the Interlinking River project, many big dams, canals, and reservoirs will have to be constructed due to which the surrounding land will become swampy and will not be suitable for agriculture. This can also reduce the production of food grains. Where or in which area to bring so much water, which canal is to be transferred, it is mandatory to study and research it adequately. The cost of this project in 2001 was Rs 5,60,000 crore but in reality, there is a possibility that it will be more.
Taking the water of Ganga above the Vindhya towards Cauvery, will cost a lot more and for this, large diesel pumps will be used, more than 4.5 lakhs people will be almost displaced, 79,292 forests will also be submerged in water. It can also be understood that without joining rivers, the problem of flood and drought can be solved.

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In ancient times, there used to be ponds in the cities, due to which the problem of flood was also solved and the water that was collected during the rainy season helps in overcoming the shortage of water. On the other hand, there can be controversy regarding land under this project. In India, there is a dispute over water in the states like the Cauvery water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu or the dispute over the Chambal River in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. For such a big project the consent at the international level also becomes mandatory.
Finally, it can be said that in the country where Geo-cultural diversity is there, drinking and irrigation water are utilised from different sources. Here the population is so vast, center to start such a big project, it is necessary for the government to take suggestions from the researchers so that the subsequent adverse consequences can be avoided. But, on the other hand, drought-affected areas and where every year flood occurs can’t be ignored; the government to find out some solutions are also mandatory keeping in mind the environment. To make the society aware of the importance of water and to explain the characteristics of the rivers, how water is used is also necessary. So, this country is ours, along with the government, we also have to understand the importance of water and it is our duty to save water, save lives.

Source: and

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