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Water: Linking major rivers in India

Prateek
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Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Prateek » 26 Dec 2002 02:49

With the Kaveri thread gone, we may use this to discuss water related problems in INdia ?

PM gifts water scheme to nation
http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/dec26/ipm.asp

As Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee turned 79 today, he gifted to the nation the “Swajaldhara” project aimed at providing drinking water to all villages by 2004 and said the massive task of linking all major rivers of the country was being undertaken to ensure that every drop of water was utilised in the interest of people, agriculture and industry.

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Joeqp » 26 Dec 2002 18:51

Unlike the roads, linking rivers is an order of magnitude more difficult (IMHO). But, ABV has put Suresh Prabhu incharge. Isn't he the one who did a tremendous job setting up the national power grid? (And promptly got yanked by BT for not doing enough for SS (read: filling their coffers))... :roll:

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Anirban » 26 Dec 2002 20:02

Right from Dastur plan, to the recent SC verdict, linking of rivers has remained the buzz word as if it will become the panacea to all problems.

However I'd like to ask a few questions.

1. Has there been any cost-benefit analysis of the entire system?
2. Has there been any fair assessment of the damage it will inflict on forests, sanctuaries, national parks through which the proposed canals will pass?
3. What will happen to the crores of people, the tribal, the destitutes who'll be uprooted from their ancestral places? Last fifty years of "development" has clearly shown us that they'll again be cheated by the elites, they'll be kicked out using brute state force while those welding power will mop up the booty.
4. Has there been any systematic study of waterlogging and salination for this proposed linking? The Koshi canal in Bihar has already rendered thousands of hectares of land infertile.
5. It is wrong to assume that the river water that is going to the sea is a waste. Those who make this kind of ignorant observations probably have never studied the complex ecological niche of mangroves and estuarine eco-systems. We should always remember the system created by nature is perfect, man has only the power to tamper it.
6. Forget the environmental aspect, because that is presently attached 'zero' importance by our 'developers'. Kolkata port is literally dying due to lack of water. If the measly water it receives is switched off to Krishna, Cauvery, it will spell doom for entire Bengal. And I don't think people of Bengal will be too happy with the idea. In short what is presently TN-Karnataka conflict will soon become a full-fledged inter-state war.

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Katare » 26 Dec 2002 23:07

Anirban,
I can answer 4 of your questions-

1. Has there been any cost-benefit analysis of the entire system?
That’s exactly what they are doing for last several decades, Ain't they?

Cost –
Total cost – 5,60,000 corer (will easily qualify as world’s largest project ever)

Benefits –
Total hydropower generation – 34,000 MW (twice the size of 3 Gorges Dam)
Irrigation to 25,000 MM hectare directly and 10,000 MM Hectare indirectly
Total 30 links (14 Himalayan and 16 Peninsular)

Major infrastructure Projects (Mass transit, Rural railway etc) usually can’t be justified for profitability, you have to consider other social aspects like improved connectivity, reach, convenience and progress etc to get the full picture.

2. Has there been any fair assessment of the damage it will inflict on forests,
Canals don’t do as much damage to forest and ecosystem as roads and railway lines do. Some times they even help wild life and create/add/modify new ecosystem. While roads/railways may split a forest/ecosystem in two separate systems, canals brings extra source of lively hood (pasture/water) for wild life. My father is a forest officer and most part of his life he spend building small check dams and other infrastructure, deep in the forest to help stop water for wild lives.

Although improper linking may harm/destroy individual river ecosystems. Especially the top of the line ecosystem of Ganges. Only four rivers in the world had dolphins as part of their ecosys, Dolphins are on the top of the ecosystem that implies best-developed ecosystem in these rivers. Two of them Nile and Yengtaze (sp? the Chinese river) has lost it, Amazon and Ganges are the only rivers left with this kind of developed ecosystem.

3. What will happen to the corers of people, the tribal, the destitutes who'll be uprooted from their ancestral places? Last fifty years of "development" has clearly shown us that they'll again be cheated by the elites, they'll be kicked out using brute state force while those welding power will mop up the booty.
There is no requirement for up-rooting corers of people. Canals don’t submerge that kind of land, I think you are confusing it with Dams. Canals will take, for most part/main body, as much land as a 4-lane highway will. Diverted water will be used to replenish existing Dams and there are plans to make small dams all over India. Small dams don’t require large-scale displacement of people because small depressions can be found more easily in remote areas.

6. Forget the environmental aspect, because that is presently attached 'zero' importance by our 'developers'. Kolkata port is literally dying due to lack of water. If the measly water it receives is switched off to Krishna, Cauvery, it will spell doom for entire Bengal. And I don't think people of Bengal will be too happy with the idea. In short what is presently TN-Karnataka conflict will soon become a full-fledged inter-state war.
Mostly water will be diverted during Mansoon season from surplus regions to deficit southern peninsula and will be stored all over India. Kaveri/TN-K dispute exists because both states are water deficit, W. Bengal, Bihar, UP Asam et al would be happiest kid in the world if this project succeeds in controlling their flood problem.

Still their will be lot’s of political problems on state level like you said but when there are plenty of water, they could be solved comparatively with ease.

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Joeqp » 26 Dec 2002 23:34

Anirban has a point about the environmental impact. Remember: canal's can't be 100% waterproof. There will be leakage from the canals, and if there is a lot of leakage, it can seriously damage the neighboring areas.

The only comparable example today in existence is the "Ganga Canal" (note I used the original name for it, not the "IGNP", since I believe credit for the canal should be given to Maharaja Ganga Singhji of Bikaner, who had the forethought to start the canal), which takes water from Punjab all the way to Jaisalmer. In many regions of the canal, the land has become water-logged, which is not a good thing (you can't grow anything there). People blame shoddy workmanship (they didn't waterproof the canal properly), but who's to say this won't happen with the "national canals" scheme?

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Katare » 27 Dec 2002 01:01

Manavendra,

Water leakage and subsequent marshing of the surrounding land are real issues with most dam and canal projects. They can be avoided by right alignment and waterproofing. If canal follows natural gravity slope (read fast flow) and passes through the deepest land there would be very few chances of water leaking in the plains/lowlands.

With 21st century technology and resources estimated for project, it shouldn't be a problem. But if babudom and corruption overwhelms project managers/engineers than god help India!

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby anilK » 27 Dec 2002 02:07

Isn't the proposed National Canal system actually a dams plus canal system. There definitely will be dams in intermediate places, to store or bring water to certain height before it flows down further downstream, and also to generate hydropower.

Considering it is a major canal network, is anyone aware of the proportion of water in the canal to the water in the dams. For ordinary dams this may insignificant, but for a canal network, water storage in the canal may be as important as the water in the dams.
Excess water storage capacity may also be generated by increasing the height of the existing dams by a few more feet and also filing them up to their max capacity. I think a lot of dams in india usually store far below max capacity.

If this becomes a reality, then there will be a large number of small lakes, few sq.km in area, all over the canal network.

And as for submerging of land is concerned, a lot of villages might actually want this, considering the opportunity for compensation.
My village in AP wanted the dam plan/height to be revised, so that their villages can be submerged, because the land is not suited for efficient cultivation, and the compensation is substantial. The whole village together wanted to pay off the chief engineer of the project so that they can include imaginary cow sheds, barns, temples, houses etc. in the village that is submerged and claim compensation for it. And once it is submerged, who's to check anyway :) except for the engineer.

Jay Malkani
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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Jay Malkani » 27 Dec 2002 07:34

Is the plan to link the rivers somehow linked to the revival of the Saraswati River?

It was a big pet project of the govt for the last year or so. I believe frontline did an large piece on the saraswati. Do any of you have info on this?

Please enlighten

Thanks,
J

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby saint » 27 Dec 2002 11:31

linking rivers and saraswati river connection!!!??

mmm..

I came here to bring about a discussion how we can use the canal system. We should be able to use the flow current and use thousands or millions of turbines to generate electricity along the river lines. It would be a boon to electricity generation for the villages.

we could have a national grid of turbine electricity on the river lines. Besides, zillion jobs being created.. and zillion people will advance able to use electricity at night.

thoughts???

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby jkarthik » 27 Dec 2002 16:05

Some questions:
a) Is it essential to link the rivers through a canal system? Why arent pipelines being considered?

b) WRT Hydropower, are we talking dams/ run-of-the-river projects? The latter may be a better idea.

c) What kind of seismic changes will this trigger? It seems to be that environmental damage is not likely to be significant, but large seismic changes may happen.

d) Any environmental damage by a canal system will be offset by positive environmental effect due to transfer of water from areas of plenitude to those of scarcity. Water transfer is not merely for human benefit, it also affects the local flora and fauna immensely. The desertification of areas of Thamizh Nadu will be reversed, for example

e) If you take states like TN/ Karnataka, different age-old systems are in place for water management. All the tanks in these are linked by underground as well as over-ground channels. Clearly, these have survived the centuries and no perceptible environmental damage has been seen in these places. In fact, more damage has been caused by the conversion of these tanks into residential layouts in Bangalore. Therefore, first glance suggests that the environmental damage wrought by a canal system is not significant.

f) The real problem is likely to be the displacement issue. How to tackle this transparently and fairly and keep the politicians out will be the main issue here. Hopefully, an NHAI type apex body will be set up to oversee this part, at least.

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Anirban » 27 Dec 2002 17:20

Raj, you made interesting observations there.

If the final Cost-Benefit Analysis has been done, then we the common people have the right to know it.

Here's from CP Thakur's statement in the Rajya Sabha


1. Create the potential to increase agricultural production by an additional 100 per cent in the next 5 years.

2. Avoid the losses of the type which occurred during 2002 to the extent of Rs. 25,000 crores by the loss of crops due to drought conditions and flooding in many parts of the country.

3. Save Rs. 3,000 crores a year in foreign exhange by avoiding importing oil because of the cost-effective alternative navigation provided along the long coastline and the National Water Way which will become a reality by implementing the project.

4. Unify the country by involving every panchayat as a share-holder and implementing agency in a Himanad Corporation to be set up to implement the Rs. 3.3 lakh crore project over the next 10 years in a time-bound programme.

5. Provide for enhancing the security of the country by an additional water-line of defence (along the western and northwestern borders with the River Sarasvati, an extension of the Rajasthan Canal beyond Jaisalmer up to Gujarat and along the northern and north-eastern borders with the linking of the Brahmapurtra and the Ganga).

6. Provide employment to 10 lakh people for the next 10 years.

7. Provide a National Water Way to complement the Railway and road networks.

8. Mitigate the flooding problems which recur in the northeast and the north.

9. Solve the water scarcity situation in many parts of the country, particularly in the northwest, western and southern Bharat by providing alternative, perennial water resources.

[Source : ]http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/op/2002/10/22/stories/2002102200010200.htm]

These are all good in theories.

But let us look at the flip sides. AFAIK, there will be dams and barrages, leading to large scale inundation of fertile lands. Without the construction of dams, how are they going to generate 34,000 MW hydro electric power? I'll try to dig out the related data.

Canals can do immense harm to forest land, it cuts off the natural migratory routes of many animals. Your father being a forest officer, you may ask him how the canals of Teesta Barrage destroyed the migratory routes of elephants in north Bengal. This completely different from building check dams and reservoirs in the forest to harvest rain water. The latter step is a much needed part of forest management while the former brings disaster.

Yes Gangetic dolphins (Platanista gangetica) is found in the Ganges, but their number is fast dwindling thanks to Ganges being steadily converted to a sewerage. Gangetic dolphin is also found in Indus and Irawaddy.

Anyway, for the time being let us set aside the issues of environment, displacement of tribals, submergence of fertile lands etc because our "developers" will not take into account these insignificant things while chalking out their "development" projects.

My biggest objection is that the entire project is based on the false concept that the snow-fed Himalayan rivers carry enough water and this "excess" water is going down the drain aka the sea. Let us take a quick look, is it really a true fact? The glaciers in Himalayas is receding, the rate at which the Gangotri glacier is receding has amazed the geologists.(http://sdnp.delhi.nic.in/headlines/mar0 ... news1.html). Water is even scare in Ganga, thanks to garlanding it with a litany of barrages. The measly water that trickles to Sandheads after paying B'desh its due share is not enough to flush out the silt of its course. Now if that too is switched off, the first casualty will be the Gangetic delta, its pristine mangrove forests and crores of people who're dependent on it economically as well as in other ways. Next, it will be a death knell for the people of Gangetic Bengal and Bihar for whom Ganga is still the life line. Supporters of the project will say, the excess water of Bramhaputra will be brought into Ganga thereby offsetting the loss. But rest assured it will not materialise because B'desh will simply turn down the proposal. This Ganga-Brahmaputra linking proposal was forwarded by India way back in 70s but was promptly rejected by B'desh for very valid reasons.

More later..

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Katare » 27 Dec 2002 22:30

Anirban,
Thanks! For finding that good information (Rajya sabha), I found couple of new things that I didn’t count before.

Well,
The doubts/counter arguments you are bringing are not new (or baseless/incorrect for that matter) and this project was not implemented/started yet partially because of same reasons. The point here is how to solve those concerns and come to a compromise.

Your Concerns/Assumptions –

There is not enough water.

There is enough water (especially in the Mansoon season) in Ganges and Brahmputra and also huge flood problems in India and Bangladesh. Infect that region is the world’s most flood prone region. Also most of the water is going to the drain because of seasonal rain. As you haven’t provided any data, I am not doing to do it either. Also shrinking glacier doesn’t have to do anything with river inter linking project, it’s an effect of global warming. River interlinking may even add in the effort of increasing forest cover in India. Also garland is not all about harvesting glacial water, it’s about collecting and diverting rainwater, from northeastern India to Southern peninsula, that’s otherwise going to drain.

Forest Saga –
There is no doubt any modification to the natural eco-system will definitely going to damage it. But like Elephants will not be able to cross a tiny canal is an ignorant statement. Most wild lives and especially mammals are good swimmers. Although, as usual, there will be whole lot of problems for small rodents/bugs and animals an important part of the eco-system. But than again an additional water body will add to their lively hood exactly like it will add to human development. Please do not compare Barrages and dams with the river links. Also if you read in details, in some part they are going to fortify existing river and will use them to transport the water, I am not aware of any plan to construct huge dams/barrages. There are only 30 links in whole project all over the India.

The Barrages and dams –

For most part river links will look like a stairwell with a small dam on each stair. Starting from an existing high water column (A big Dam) with another set of power station. The water discharged from turbines will travel down in the canal. After few miles (say 50-100) there will be another small Dam/lake/water body spreading couple of square mile in barren land (remember they can modify canal path to find ideal place to minimize the environmental damage/human displacement) with another set of power plant, so on and so forth. These small dams won’t be a threat to anything instead they will change the face of land and life around them.

In most part the water will be used to replenish existing Dams/barrages/lakes/rivers. The existing power plants would be able to run on better plant factors and could also add additional capacity.

Bangladesh –
As usual they are going to be pain in the butt for nothing but in actuality this project will be greatest gift to Bangladesh from India, since we gifted them their independence. IIRC Bangladesh sees world’s 40% floods in that tiny country. It’s the biggest national problem of that over crowded, marshy country. If India manages river water flow to control flood down stream in Bangladesh, why would they object to it? They might ask for involvement in project management and running it to secure their interest. I would say it’s a genuine demand and shouldn’t be a problem. If we can cope with pakis, Bdesh shouldn’t be a problem.

If properly executed (without too much political interference/hype) this project is a win-win proposition for everybody involved.

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Katare » 28 Dec 2002 00:00

Some questions:
a) Is it essential to link the rivers through a canal system? Why arent pipelines being considered?
J karthik, The magnitude of the water they are going to divert is too big to consider pipelines (without compressors/water tower) for main links. Also for smaller canals you need flexibility for farmers to install their pumps/Tap wherever they want to, with pipe it would be difficult. Also there are plans to develop these main links as waterways for hauling heavy goods. Cost may be another factor.

b) WRT Hydropower, are we talking dams/ run-of-the-river projects? The latter may be a better idea.
I think the additional electricity would be generated in three ways –
1) By running existing power plants at better plant factors (more water is available)
2) By adding capacity to existing power plants
3) Additional Power plants will be installed on smaller dams/barrage/run off created on canals/links/rivers

c) What kind of seismic changes will this trigger? It seems to be that environmental damage is not likely to be significant, but large seismic changes may happen.
That is very possible, India is prone to major earthquakes.

d) Any environmental damage by a canal system will be offset by positive environmental effect due to transfer of water from areas of plenitude to those of scarcity. Water transfer is not merely for human benefit, it also affects the local flora and fauna immensely. The desertification of areas of Thamizh Nadu will be reversed, for example
Right on bull’s eye!

e) If you take states like TN/ Karnataka, different age-old systems are in place for water management. All the tanks in these are linked by underground as well as over-ground channels. Clearly, these have survived the centuries and no perceptible environmental damage has been seen in these places. In fact, more damage has been caused by the conversion of these tanks into residential layouts in Bangalore. Therefore, first glance suggests that the environmental damage wrought by a canal system is not significant.
Good example! It’s very important to recharge and rejuvenate all the natural water tanks and in turn raising water table in India. Also drinking water is going to be the biggest problem for India in first part of this century. You can live without power but without water…..

f) The real problem is likely to be the displacement issue. How to tackle this transparently and fairly and keep the politicians out will be the main issue here. Hopefully, an NHAI type apex body will be set up to oversee this part, at least.
I think displacement won't be that big of a problem because of the flexibility they have in rerouting the canals. Also if they don't go for big Dams displacement will be minimal.

Meanwhile how does RDAI sounds? (River development authority of India)!! ;) :cool:

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby saint » 28 Dec 2002 00:12

is there a map or diagram of the linking project available on the web?

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby kautilya » 28 Dec 2002 00:52

couldn't the water problem be solved cheaper by using the ancient method of rain water harvesting?
If so, then I don't think it makes sense to interlink all rivers just to avoid flood. that could be done by partial implementation also.

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby kautilya » 28 Dec 2002 00:57

The other side of the story

Interlinking Mirages

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Katare » 28 Dec 2002 01:45

Kautilaya,

We have a serious problem of water shortage in most parts of India, rain harvesting by old ways could be a great partial solution (and should not be discounted because of interlinking) in the areas where we get enough rain. Water table could be raised to a more and easily exploitable level in these parts. But what about the regions where it doesn’t rain enough or see frequent droughts? These are the parts that need more and constant rain. Population has more than doubled and annual rain has gone down since independence because of de-forestification. It’s man made problem and requires man made solutions.

In the most optimistic way, River inter linking promises to add 30 more rivers in India and also rejuvenates most other smaller water bodies. This would be like turning most of the India in a big Punjab.

Anyway about Medha Patker’s article from above link, I agree with her on at least one count, we need to know more details about this project like # of the additional dams planned, size, locations, submerged area, route and human displacement. There is very little information available in the media/Net.

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Gerard » 28 Dec 2002 06:51

Meanwhile in Beijing....

China approves water-transfer project

The Chinese Government has given the final go-ahead to what is expected to be one of the world's largest water-transfer projects.
Authorities plan to build three entirely man-made waterways to get water from China's Yangtze River to the country's arid north.

The canals will be built in three stages and link up the country's four major rivers, the Yangtze River, Yellow River, Huaihe and Haihe.

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Anirban » 28 Dec 2002 15:12

Raj, regarding the effects of canals on forests, you can get some data in http://www.iucaa.ernet.in/~yogesh/threats.shtml provided by Bittu Sahgal, editor of Sanctuary.

Before going into the issue of shrinkage of glaciers, let us take a quick look of the available data on Ganga water flow.

Indo-Bangladesh Water Sharing Treaty, 1996 chalks out the following formula of water sharing.

Availability at Farakka
Share of India
Share of Bangladesh

70,000 cusecs or less
50%
50%

70,000-75,000 cusecs
Balance of flow
35,000 cusecs

75,000 cusecs or more
40,000 cusecs
Balance of flow

Period
Average of Actual Flow (1949-1988)
India’s Share
Bangladesh’s Share

January

1-10
107,516
40,000
67,516

11-20
97,673
40,000
57,673

21-31
90,154
40,000
50,154


February

1-10
86,323
40,000
46,323

11-20
82,839
40,000
42,839

21-28
79,106
40,000
39,106


March

1-10
74,419
39,419
35,000

11-20
68,931
33,931
35,000

21-31
63,688
35,000
29,688


April

1-10
63,180
28,180
35,000

11-20
62,633
35,000
27,633

21-30
60,992
25,992
35,000


May

1-10
67,251
35,000
32,351

11-20
73,590
38,590
35,000

21-31
81,834
40,000
41,854

(Source: http://www.thewaterpage.com/farakka_water_treaty.htm)

Also check out
where you'll find some data on availabilty of Ganga water at Farakka.

http://www.awra.org/proceedings/dundee01/Documents/Pashafinal.pdf.

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Katare » 29 Dec 2002 03:16

Anirban,

Good information thanks!
About farakka treaty with Bangladesh –

It’s treaty for dry season (Jan 1st to May 31st), normal Mansoon hits Kerala on 1st of June, each year and reaches Northern India/Himalayas on mid/end June. You can see the flow starts increasing at farakka after April. From then on there is no dearth of water in Ganges/Brahmputra basin. Here is an example-

discharge recorded as 26,78,781 Cusecs

During the flood of 1998 discharge in the River Ganga (at Farakka) exceeded all previous records with highest discharge recorded as 26,78,781 Cusecs and this year the discharge recorded as 21,01,401 Cusecs.

This is roughly 40 times more than the flow in the dry season, this flow causes devastating flood and destruction of forest, crops, wild and human lives in Bangladesh and India before draining into sea. The river inter linking project is about moving (IIRC) only 60,000 Cusecs water from northern/eastern India (Ganges, Brahmputra et al) towards southern/Central India.

So the conclusion still remains unchanged – There is enough water only we don’t have any means to tap it, yet, during the time of plenty (June to December).

About Bittu Sehgal –

It’s not clear from his article, if damage is caused by canal itself or by development that followed after canal was constructed (like destruction of forest, conversion of forest into agricultural land, expansion of villages or construction of other infrastructures etc). I’ll get back to you with more information on that IICFI.

If RDAI follows an integrated policy of looking at River interlinking as not only a canal sys but as part of land/national development and includes forest/agriculture/wildlife/human development in it’s project planning to start with, all these real problems could be over come with relative ease.

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Katare » 06 Jan 2003 01:14

Good information on project – Suresh Prabhu is making some progress

Timetable – Total 30 links (several other links are alternatives)
Feasibility study – Completed by 2005 (Already completed for 6 links)
Detailed project reports – Completed by 2006 (Already started for 6 completed feasibility studies)
Project completion – By 2016

web page

It’s good that they are taking time for study and planning to avoid situation like Narmada. Still no action on ground till 2006. Ideally they should plan to start intra basin development within 2 years to get the momentum and start the debate.

K. L. Rao’s national water grid

Highlights –

K. L. Rao did fairly good job but scope of the project planning was beyond one man’s effort. He grossly underestimated cost (by factor of 20 to 30). Also technologically and financially his plan proposal (for alignment) was undoable in India at least at that time. It was rightly rejected but wrongly shelved in WRM’s file cabinets.

Captain Dastur’s Garland Canal

Highlight’s –
Pretty much same story, great concept but too huge and technologically unsound and financially prohibitive. Dastur’s plans was grand and concentrated more on interbasin then on distributed Intrabasin development. He tried to utilized all the excess water in the country and counted on voluntary workers for completing work on ridiculously small time period of time. Too big and too many reservoirs. He met the fate of Dr. Rao’s proposals.

New Scheme –

- More emphasis on Intrbasin development instead of Interbasin
- Existing uses (national/international) and legal frame works is kept undisturbed
- Multipurpose/vanilla development in contrast to too much emphasis on irrigation on previous schemes
- Implementation in phased manner starting with most important Intrabasin links and gradually building on it and reaping the profit as soon as first of the links completes.

In Interbasin water transfer ( Ganga – Cauvery link)this could be the most probable route

Brahmputra to Ganges
Ganges (most probably from Farakka) to Subarnrekha (Via Damodar)
Subarnrekha to Mahanadi
Mahanadi to Godavari
Godavari to Krishna
Krishna to Cauvery (via Pennar)

In principal the water that would be taken from Ganges would be offset by water brought into Ganges from Brahmputra. This will hopefully solve the problem of Calcutta Port and Farakka treaty in dry season.

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Kakkaji » 09 Jan 2003 03:22

"Interlinking of rivers"
by
Radha Singh, Director-General, National Water Development Agency, New Delhi

http://www.hinduonnet.com/stories/2003010903331300.htm

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Kakkaji » 09 Jan 2003 03:31

Originally posted by Raj Katare:
Brahmputra to Ganges
Ganges (most probably from Farakka) to Subarnrekha (Via Damodar)
Subarnrekha to Mahanadi
Mahanadi to Godavari
Godavari to Krishna
Krishna to Cauvery (via Pennar)

In principal the water that would be taken from Ganges would be offset by water brought into Ganges from Brahmputra. This will hopefully solve the problem of Calcutta Port and Farakka treaty in dry season.
If Bangladesh refuses to cooperate, how do you physically transfer the surplus Brahmaputra water to the Ganga? Siliguri corridor is too narrow to dig wide canals etc.

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby member_4740 » 09 Jan 2003 03:43

Interlinking of rivers
by
Radha Singh, Director-General, National Water Development Agency, New Delhi

http://www.hinduonnet.com/stories/2003010903331300.htm
The article does not give any information. it starts off well with
" We wish to correct several of the apprehensions raised by Medha Patkar and Aravinda in their article (Dec. 3) on interlinking of rivers. To say the least these apprehensions are misplaced and misconceived.".

But it doesnot give any information and there are no examples of correcting Medha Patkar's/Aravinda's "apprehensions".

I would like to see more information regarding specific areas affected, redressals etc. but i think its too early for that now. Atleast till some of the feasibility study becomes public.

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Neshant » 10 Jan 2003 07:47

They better be careful not to open up a pandora's box with this issue. Some regions will be receiving less water as a result of river linking.

What they need to ensure is that farmers which get surplus water upstream don't take to growing water intensive crops like cotton. They will drain all the water irrigating their crops and leave nothing for those downstream. There should be quotas set for water usage region by region to ensure equitable distribution.

Have a agricultural policy along with this new scheme which everyone should agree to.

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Kakkaji » 13 Jan 2003 02:55


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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Katare » 17 Jan 2003 06:51

If Bangladesh refuses to cooperate, how do you physically transfer the surplus Brahmaputra water to the Ganga? Siliguri corridor is too narrow to dig wide canals etc.
Rajeev,

Why do you think it’s too narrow for a couple of hundred-foot canal/tunnel? Brahmaputra enters B’desh close to the border of West bengal and Assam the corridor looks at least a hundred KM wide in map. I am not very familiar with the terrain but I think it shouldn’t be too big a deal (I haven’t seen any thing particular to this link), more informed members can comment on the border area terrain of West Bengal and Assam!

I think we should avoid getting canal through B’desh it would complicate/internationalized (read delay) whole thing. Still we’ll have to sign a Farrakka type treaty with B’desh but it would be much easier now, because brahmputra is pretty much untapped and has huge flow and several all weather Himalayan tributaries unlike Ganga.

In contrast to this china is mooting a plan to blast Himalayas using peaceful nuclear explosion to take Brahmaputra water to desert of Gobi around 2006. This is not unprecedented in history…..USSR has done it in the past before signing CTBT……... but it causes extensive damage to environment and I am personally against it.

One thing I am pretty sure about, this project will definitely open ponderosa’s box and what’ll come out of it only god knows…..but I have a bad feeling about it

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Prateek » 19 Jan 2003 23:13

LINKING OUR MAJOR RIVERS –– A GIGANTIC TASK

http://www.indiadefence.com/riverlink.htm

The linking of our major rivers is a grandiose project of gigantic proportions. In the words of Mohan Guruswamy, whose article on this subject follows,

“The scheme is humongous. It will link the Brahmaputra and Ganga with the Mahanadi, Godavari and Krishna, which in turn will connect to the Pennar and Cauvery. On the other side of the country it will connect the Ganga and Yamuna with the Narmada traversing in part the supposed route of the mythical Saraswathi.”

The Chinese have embarked on a US$200 billion infrastructure expansion just to remake Chongqing into the metropolis of the Chinese heartland. They also want to divert another 48 billion cubic meters of water from the north to the south, apart from constructing the world’s largest dam, longest bridge, fastest train and highest railroad. The Chinese plan to spend about 15% of the GDP each year on infrastructure, for otherwise it may not be possible to sustain their blistering pace of economic growth. They can well afford such investments for they have an annual trade surplus of over US$ 25 billion and foreign reserves in excess of US$ 190 billion.

In the heydays of the Naxalite movement in Bengal, CPI (ML) cadres used to chant the slogan “China’s Chairman is our Chairman, Long Live Chairman Mao!” In a way it seems to have come true.

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Kakkaji » 19 Jan 2003 23:33

From NDTV.com of Jan. 19, 2003

***************
India to study China's river-linking project

Sunday, January 19, 2003 (Beijing):

The Chairman of the Task Force on the Inter-Linking of Rivers, Suresh Prabhu, has said India will study China's massive water diversion project before it launches a Rs 5,60,000-crore project to inter-link rivers to transfer surplus water to deficit areas.

"We will study China's major water diversion project which is also an ambitious one," Prabhu said.

He said he plans to visit China in March or April to exchange views with Chinese experts and to know more about the Chinese water diversion project which was launched in December last year.

Prabhu said India's proposed water diversion project, when completed in 2016, would be more massive in scale, costs and benefits accrued.

The Chinese project, currently touted as the world's largest water diversion venture, will divert water from the mighty Yangtze river in the south to the country's thirsty north, including the Chinese capital Beijing. (PTI)
***************

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Kaushal » 23 Jan 2003 11:58

This is very interesting because it shows that the Indian monsoon is related to the El Nino phenomenon.

Monsoon records show link with global climate

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Katare » 28 Jan 2003 08:38

A little step but in right direction.....

"Hariyali"

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Guest » 28 Jan 2003 16:06

Water! We need to plan for a proper water management. Without which even if you turn the Ganges, you may still need water. In India many of us strongly believe that water in the pool or pond should be used for irrigation. Whenever there is rain the water is reserved in the small dams and then distributed to the paddy or other fields. Then within a year it dries off.
Unfortunately many of our tree are brought down with a hope of converting those lands into yielding fields. This may also due to the demand of rice or wheat or else.
In this sense we need to allow some water to stay back without being used otherwise throughout the year the groundwater gets dried.
We must connect the rivers but not allow the water to be use completely for irrigation purposes. Those lands that are dry now should not be converted into fields.
Another concept is recyling water. This is very essential for the future generation to have some water. In the cities at least this could be done for washing or or kind of work.
Also during the rain season at times there is flood in the river what are we doing. We need to stop them by building dams. Otherwise next rain season may not be coming and people would dies because of thirst.
Government's policy on reserving the rain water is good.
Is there also a possibility of having artificial rain? Some Russians were doing it earlier. Why not we explore with a few crores in the drought affected areas?
Finally we need to grow more trees in different places which are increasingly becoming deserts.
If we do not do something, then only land remains, the first place in the whole world which would deserted by human being would be some parts or states of India!!!!

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Prateek » 31 Jan 2003 02:42

Assam's parties against interlinking of rivers
http://www.rediff.com/news/2003/jan/30vina.htm

The Asom Gana Parishad and other regional parties in Assam have termed the Centre's proposal to interlink major rivers, including the Brahmaputra, as a conspiracy to deprive the people of the state their share of water.

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Rudra » 31 Jan 2003 03:33

AGP having lost all credibility due to failure and corruption will surely step forth to 'protect the peoples rights' and get a role for themselves.

assam has more than enough water, and in any case the canal will tap into river just before it enters bangladesh...it cannot have any influence on depleting the himalayan sources.

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Prateek » 01 Feb 2003 03:38

Posted by Div in the Infrastructure thread...
Proposal to link rivers a 'waste of money', says Medha Patkar
http://www.outlookindia.com/pti_news.asp?id=116443

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby saint » 01 Feb 2003 03:45

Originally posted by muddur:
Posted by Div in the Infrastructure thread...
[b]Proposal to link rivers a 'waste of money', says Medha Patkar

http://www.outlookindia.com/pti_news.asp?id=116443[/b]
she may have concerns, but does she have scientific data or study done to substantiate..

I just can't understand her worries about flood distribution.. it should actually solve the floods and make the water available elsewhere by the distribution network..

if she has a concern in the design of the network, perhaps she should point the loopholes, the necessary steps taken to solve those. When you see others in brahma and ganga dependers screaming that their share of water would get depleted, then the flooding should be of negligible concern.. still, the design of dams should take of the problem, if any {in the design}.. as she seen the design yet?

And what is her problem with TN's anti-conversion law? {out of scope of this thread}.

==

regarding chinese designs on Brahmaputra

Is it possible to have tibet involved and sign an agreement with them to divert some water from the source itself??

what would the chinese do?

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Katare » 02 Feb 2003 02:31

If this project goes ahead I see a very bright future for Medha Patker……….she is opposing it even without knowing what it is……….nobody knows how many people will be displaced and how much land would be lost………she just has to religiously oppose anything that has to do anything with water/river/Dam

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Kakkaji » 02 Feb 2003 05:14

Work on linking of rivers likely to take off by year-end

http://www.hinduonnet.com/stories/2003020203651000.htm

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby Prateek » 02 Feb 2003 05:49

From today's tragedy of Colombia, if we have one lesson to learn then it is for people like Medha to understand how nations progresses in to the future.

The way American community has taken the current accident is simply amazing. In a span of just around 15 years they have two major disaasters in the Challenger and now the Colombia. The Americans are not only condoning their people, but at the same time the Americans talk about continuing with the project by correcting the faults, in the mission. The kind of political and the public support the American scintific community and institutions enjoy is trully amazing and worth imitating by the Indians.

People like Medha Patkar are nothing but the obstacles to any countries progress to the future. Had this Colombia accident happened with India and ISRO, instead of USA and NASA, I could tell with certainty that India has many people like Medha Patkar, who would have already stormed into the ISRO premises and destroyed their assets, and there by halting the entire space missions into a grounding HALT. There is a living proof for what I am saying, if we care a little to take a look at the MARUT development.

Talking about CAUTION, with the new scientific projects is one thing, but calling the projects as useless and WASTE of money, without even understanding the projects, just to make a career as a critic in the media, is a disgrace for the people like Medha Patkar and her followers, and very unfortunate of the country which gave birth to people like them. I think people like her should be FORCED to talk to the likes of our current President in public, before even they open their wide mouth. Only then, their ignorance over the matters could be exposed to the people of India.

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Re: Water: Linking major rivers in India

Postby saint » 04 Feb 2003 05:56

http://www.hinduonnet.com/thehindu/mp/2003/01/06/stories/2003010600150300.htm

The grand plan that hundreds of scientists and engineers are working on is a two-part one, according to Kalyanaraman.

Part one of the plan will, obviously have various political implications. The geography of the Brahmaputra has it flowing through the North-eastern states before taking an abrupt 90-degree turn south into Bangladesh and on to the sea. The proposed water grid has the Brahmaputra being linked with the Ganga through the chicken neck in Bengal and then from the Ganga to the south. But to the concern about what Bangladesh's reaction to this diversion would be, Kalyanaraman points out that it would help save Bangladesh from its annual floods while at the same time providing a regulated supply which both countries could manage.

As for the legendary Sarasvati, to which the Vedas devoted 72 slokas against just one for the Ganga, its entire course of 1600 km from Manasarovar in Tibet to Somnath in Saurashtra, has now been re-discovered and mapped. And with that discovery, the river can be revived and linked to both the Indira Gandhi Canal and the Ganga to make the desert bloom, states Kalyanaraman. The rediscovered Sarasvati is a bonanza to not only hydrologists but also to archaeologists. The great civilisation nurtured on its banks and mentioned in the Mahabharata is no myth; over 2000 archaeological sites have been found on the river's banks and scores of them are being worked on, says Kalyanaraman. There are, I am told, over 12,500 satellite images of the 6 km wide river and its banks now available, showing a wealth of information about a river, which could make India never again food-short.

the Sarasvati for a 40 foot deep channel, will increase irrigated acreage to 150 mha and foodgrain to 400 mt. The secret to this success is making best use of the run-off from the Himalaya; the Himalaya can provide for the two-and - a-half billion people of India and China for 10,000 years, claims Kalyanaraman.


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