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Essay on “Interlinking of Rivers” Complete Essay, Paragraph, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Interlinking of Rivers

Water is essential for human existence and propagation of all biotic life. India ranks fifth in the world after Zaire, Russia, Canada and the United States in potential water power resources. But mere possession is no reason for celebration. There are some concerns regarding presence or absence of water as floods and droughts occur at the same time in different parts of the country. There are some disputes like sharing of Cauvery waters between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu as farmers of both States face acute shortage of water for their crops. There has also been a controversy over the building of Sardar Sarovar Dam on river Narmada as many villages and forest tracts are likely to be submerged and there is problem of rehabilitation of affected people in a mutually acceptable manner. India and Pakistan are locked in water war over the construction of power projects on Jhelum on their respective territories.

Snow-fed rivers like Ganga, Indus and Brahmaputra, which originate in the Himalayas, and their tributaries are perennial. They continue to flow throughout the year. During monsoons, they tend to overflow and inundate large flood prone areas and cause loss of life, livestock, crops and property. Rain-fed rivers like Luni in Rajasthan remain dry for most part of the year because the rainfall is scanty in that area resulting in drought like conditions. The volume of water in the west flowing rivers of Central Highlands, Narmada and Tapi is directly proportional to the amount of rainfall received during the monsoon season. Hence, there is always an element of uncertainty in availability of water. To the North of the Vindhyas, the Malwa Plateau and the Chhotanagpur Plateau of Jharkhand are comparatively better placed as they are drained by steady Ganga and Yamuna. But due to the absence of adequate river valley projects a large quantity of water wastefully flows into the Bay of Bengal through Ganga-Brahmaputra delta. In the peninsular region too, the rainfall is uneven. While the Western Ghats receive high rainfall, the Eastern Ghats receive very less. States like Tamil Nadu lie in the rain shadow area and get little rainfall from advancing South West monsoons. The East flowing rivers of the Deccan Plateau—Mahanadi, Godavari, Krishna and Cauveri drain this area.

To overcome the problems of flood and drought a whopping Rs. 5,60,000 crore river linkage project has been envisaged.

The perennial and often inundating rivers of the north will be connected with the dwindling and rather seasonal rivers of the south through a network of canals so that the former are stopped from overflowing and the latter are regularly replenished, curbing floods and famines at the same time. The project will also ensure regular, adequate and timely supply of water to all parts of the country for agriculture, industry and consumption. Of the three big Himalayan rivers, Indus has been left out because there is a natural connectivity in, the shape of its tributaries like Sutlej, Beas and Jhelum which drain and well cater to the needs of the Indian part of the Indus basin. Water from Brahmaputra shall flow into Ganga. Two main headwaters in the Himalayas the Bhagirathi and the Alaknanda join at Devprayag and flow as Ganga thereafter. It enters Northern plain at Haridwar. Yamuna joins it at Allahabad. Yamuna, in turn, is joined by its tributaries like Chambal, Sind, Betwa and Ken. Sc(ne joins Ganga directly and Damodar joins its distributary Hooghli. As the Ganga river system drains the States of Haryana, Southern Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and major parts of West Bengal many times its water falls short of the required quantity. Linking Ganga with Brahmaputra shall solve this problem. Brahma-putra carries a tremendous volume of water. When it enters India at NamchaBarwa, the undercutting done by this powerful river is of the order of 5,500 metres. With the eastern States receiving heavy rainfall during monsoon season the danger of floods looms large in many areas of Assam and Bihar almost every year. The linkage will mean diversion of excess water from Brahmaputra into Ganga and this problem of floods shall be taken care of automatically. Ganga will be connected to Mahanadi and Godavari. This will boost agriculture in the States of Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh. and Maharashtra. Godavari will be further linked to Krishna, Pennar and Cauvery replenishing their depleting waters. It will help Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and many parts of the Eastern ghats and the rainshadow areas of the South which get little rainfall from the advancing monsoons. This will bring smile on the faces of the farmers of the South many of which committed or contemplated suicide due to crop failures. This may also solve the dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over sharing of Cauvery waters. Narmada will flow into Tapi helping mainly the farmers around Satpura range. Yamuna will flow into Sabarmati which, in turn, will be linked to Luni. It will benefit many areas of Gujarat and the desert state of Rajasthan. Thardesert of today may become the prosperous Sahara in future, who knows? The river linkage shall create a national water grid for equitable sharing of our water resources.

This grand inter-basin connectivity of rivers is slated to be completed by the end of the year 2016. According to the former Union Minister Suresh Prabhu, Chairman for the Task Force on river linking,” it is a win-win situation for all the states either suffering from floods or droughts.” Dr.Radha Singh, Directdr-General of the National Water Development Agency (GNWA) revealed that 30 feasibility studies conducted have indicated that the project is viable since canals will be based on gravity with enough storage facility.

Completing such a Herculean project is a huge task. The critics have called it a network of problems not a network of solutions. There will be many hiccups like arranging the exorbitant project cost, deployment of capable personnel in engineering, irrigation and hydraulics. Moreover, gran-diose projects in our country have a way of coming unstuck. We generally have big planning but poor implementation. Let us hope that the critics are proved wrong this time around.


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