Thursday, 29 October 2015

River Interlinking Project

The National perspective plan envisions about 150 million acre feet (MAF) (185 billion cubic metres) of water storage along with building inter-links.These storages and the interlinks will add nearly 170 million acre feet of water for beneficial uses in India, enabling irrigation over an additional area of 35 million hectares, generation of 40,000 MW capacity hydro power, flood control and other benefits.

The total surface water available to India is nearly 1440 million acre feet (1776 billion cubic meters) of which only 220 million acre feet was being used in the year 1979. The rest is neither utilized nor managed, and it causes disastrous floods year after year. Up to 1979, India had built over 600 storage dams with an aggregate capacity of 171 billion cubic meters. These small storages hardly enable a seventh of the water available in the country to be utilized beneficially to its fullest potential.From India-wide perspective, at least 946 billion cubic meters of water flow annually could be utilized in India, power generation capacity added and perennial inland navigation could be provided. Also some benefits of flood control would be achieved. The project claims that the development of the rivers of the sub-continent, each state of India, as well as its international neighbors stand to gain by way of additional irrigation, hydro power generation, navigation and flood control.The project may also contribute to food security to the anticipated population peak of India.

The Ganga-Brahmaputra-Meghna is a major international drainage basin which carries more than 1,000 million acre feet out of total 1440 million acre feet in India. Water is a scarce commodity and several basins such as Cauvery, Yamuna, Sutlej, Ravi and other smaller inter-State/intra-State rivers are short of water. 99 districts of the country are classified as drought prone, an area of about 40 million hectare is prone to recurring floods.The inter-link project is expected to help reduce the scale of this suffering and associated losses.

The National Perspective Plan comprised, starting 1980s, of two main components:

Himalayan Rivers Development, and
Peninsular Rivers Development
An intrastate component was added in 2005.

Himalayan component

Map of the Ganges (orange), Brahmaputra (violet), and Meghna (green) drainage basins.
Himalayan Rivers Development envisages construction of storage reservoirs on the main Ganga and the Brahmaputra and their principal tributaries in India and Nepal along with inter-linking canal system to transfer surplus flows of the eastern tributaries of the Ganga to the West apart from linking of the main Brahmaputra with the Ganga.[14] Apart from providing irrigation to an additional area of about 22 million hectares the generation of about 30 million kilowatt of hydro-power, it will provide substantial flood control in the Ganga-Brahmaputra basin. The Scheme will benefit not only the States in the Ganga-Brahmaputra Basin, but also Nepal and Bangladesh, assuming river flow management treaties are successfully negotiated.[14]

The Himalayan component would consist of a series of dams built along the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers in India, Nepal and Bhutan for the purposes of storage. Canals would be built to transfer surplus water from the eastern tributaries of the Ganga to the west. This is expected to contribute to flood control measures in the Ganga and Brahmaputra river basins. It could also provide excess water for the Farakka Barrage to flush out the silt at the port of Kolkata.

Fourteen inter-links under consideration for Himalayan component are as follows, with feasibility study status identified

Ghaghara–Yamuna link (Feasibility study complete)
Sarda–Yamuna link (Feasibility study complete)
Yamuna–Rajasthan link (Feasibility study complete)
Rajasthan–Sabarmati link (Feasibility study complete)
Kosi–Ghaghara link
Kosi–Mechi link
Manas–Sankosh–Tista–Ganga link
Jogighopa–Tista–Farakka link
Ganga–Damodar–Subernarekha link (Feasibility study complete)
Subernarekha–Mahanadi link (Feasibility study complete)
Farakka–Sunderbans link (Feasibility study complete)
Gandak–Ganga link (Feasibility study complete)
Chunar–Sone Barrage link (Feasibility study complete)
Sone dam–Southern tributaries of Ganga link

Peninsular Component

Rivers Inter-Link, Himalayan and Peninsular Components
This Scheme is divided in four major parts.

Interlinking of Mahanadi-Godavari-Krishna-Pennar-Cauvery,
Interlinking of West Flowing Rivers, North of Bombay and South of Tapi,
Inter-linking of Ken with Chambal and
Diversion of some water from West Flowing Rivers
This component will irrigate an additional 25 million hectares by surface waters, 10 million hectares by increased use of ground waters and generate hydro power, apart from benefits of improved flood control and regional navigation.

The main part of the project would send water from the eastern part of India to the south and west.The southern development project (Phase I) would consist of four main parts. First, the Mahanadi, Godavari. Krishna and Kaveri rivers would all be inter-linked by canals. Reservoirs and dams would be built along the course of these rivers. These would be used to transfer surplus water from the Mahanadi and Godavari rivers to the south of India. Under Phase II, some rivers that flow west to the north of Mumbai and the south of Tapi would be inter-linked. The water would supply additional drinking water needs of Mumbai and provide irrigation in the coastal areas of Maharashtra. 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 inter-links under consideration for Peninsular component are as follows, with respective status of feasibility studies:

Almatti–Pennar Link (Feasibility study complete)(Part I)
Bedti–Varada Link (Part IV)
Damanganga–Pinjal Link (Feasibility study complete) (Part II)
Inchampalli–Nagarjunasagar Link (Feasibility study complete) (Part I)
Inchampalli–Pulichintala Link (Feasibility study complete) (Part I)
Kattalai–Vaigai–Gundar Link (Feasibility study complete) (Part IV)
Ken–Betwa Link (Feasibility study complete) (Part III)
Mahanadi–Godavari Link (Feasibility study complete) (Part I)
Nagarjunasagar–Somasila Link (Feasibility study complete) (Part I)
Netravati–Hemavati Link (Part IV)
Pamba–Anchankovil–Vaippar Link (Feasibility study complete) (Part IV)
Par–Tapi–Narmada Link (Feasibility study complete) (Part II)
Parbati–Kalisindh–Chambal Link (Feasibility study complete) (Part III)
Polavaram–Vijayawada Link (Feasibility study complete) (Part I)
Somasila–Grand Anicut Link (Feasibility study complete) (Part I)
Srisailam–Pennar Link (Feasibility study complete) (Part I)

India approved and commissioned NDWA in June 2005 to identify and complete feasibility studies of intra-State projects that would inter-link rivers within that state.The Governments of Nagaland, Meghalaya, Kerala, Punjab, Delhi, Sikkim, Haryana, Union Territories of Puducherry, Andaman & Nicobar islands, Daman & Diu and Lakshadweep responded that they have no intrastate river connecting proposals. Govt. of Puducherry proposed Pennaiyar – Sankarabarani link (even though it is not an intrastate project). The States Government of Bihar proposed 6 inter-linking projects, Maharashtra 20 projects, Gujarat 1 project, Orissa 3 projects, Rajasthan 2 projects, Jharkhand 3 projects and Tamil Nadu proposed 1 inter-linking proposal between rivers inside their respective territories. Since 2005, NDWA completed feasibility studies on the projects, found 1 project infeasible, 20 projects as feasible, 1 project was withdrawn by Government of Maharashtra, and others are still under study.

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