Thursday, 6 August 2015


Fresh water resources on the surface of the earth is limited. Only 23% of the water is fresh water both on surface and underground. Remaining water is salt water in the sea/ocean. Only 10% of water is stored in the reservoirs which is used for irrigation and water supply. In northern India (U.P, Uttarakhand) during the rainy season, many rivers flow above danger mark. Inter-linking of rivers will enable utilization of this surplus water avoiding the risk due to floods.

A large quantity of water flows to the sea/ocean through rivers unutilized. When there is shortage of fresh water, it is not desirable to waste the water unutilized. Inter-linking of rivers would have immense benefits and is to be implemented to use maximum quantity of water for the benefit of people. .

Increase in population requires additional water which is possible only by inter-linking to use part of the water that flows to the sea/ocean without reducing requirement of coastal areas and affecting the environment of coastal areas.

Interlinking is a major focus area of the present NDA Government. The Supreme Court felt during the year 2012 that the benefits of inter-linking projects would be immense. It will put an end to the drought conditions in the Country and make the country more than self sufficient in food and energy. The Supreme Court directed the Government of India to set up a committee to pursue the idea of inter-linking of the Country’s rivers.

First proposal for inter-linking of rivers was by eminent engineer and central minister Sri. K.L. Rao in the year 1972. Another expert; Capt. Dastur also recommended construction of Himalayan Canal for the northern and eastern rivers.

Inter- linking of rivers will help to raise the irrigation potential to 160 million hectares for all types of crops by the year 2050 compared to a maximum of about 140 million hectares through conventional sources.

About Yettinahole Project in Karnataka, the coastal areas are objecting to the project to utilize part of water from Nethravathi River and its tributaries to provide drinking water to ; Hassan, Chickmagaluru, Chitradurga, Tumkur, Madhugiri, Pavagada and Koratagere taluks, and will also fill up water in Hesarghatta Reservoir. It will also provide water to Devanahalli area around International Airport.

Irrigation Expert Sri. G.S. Paramasivaiya submitted a proposal to Karnataka Government on 23.3.2001 to divert flood water from Sakleshpur to 40 drought affected taluks of seven districts Chikmagaluru, Hassan, Mandya, Tumkur, Bangalore Rural, Bangalore Urban, and Kolar. Water is badly required to these areas, for drinking water and ground water recharge. Experts say that it is only flood water that will be diverted from upper portion of Western Ghats.

About the fear that trees will be affected in the Western Ghats Region if the diversion project is implemented , the Forest Department will have to plant more than the existing number of trees in the forest areas. Conserving water is possible by lining canals to reduce less water seepage. The Ministry of Environment and Forests has given clearance to take up the Yettinahole Project.

Objections by the environmentalists should be rejected and the people and agencies in the coastal areas and states in the northern districts convinced about the benefits of inter-linking rivers.

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