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1972-Ganga cauvery link proposed by Dr. K.L.Rao

1974-Garland canal proposal by captain Dastur . 1980-Ministry of water resources frames the National perspective plan(NPP) .

1982-The National water development agency (NWDA) set up to carry out pre feasibility studies .
1999-A National commission (NCIWRDP) set up to review NWDA reports . Aug 15, 2002- President Abdul Kalam mentions the need for river linking in his independence day speech . Oct 2002- Supreme court recommends that the government formulate a plan to link the major Indian rivers by the year 2012. Dec 2002- Govt. appointed a task force on interlinking of 37 rivers led by Mr. Suresh Prabhu.
In 2006- supreme court order to complete the project till 2016.

The Indian Rivers Inter-link is a large-scale civil engineering project that aims to join the majority of India's rivers by canals and so reduce persistent water shortages in parts of India. The Project that the Supreme Court enjoined the government of India to complete in 2016. The implement may well be the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken in the world.

The National Water Development Agency (NWDA) has proposed 30 major river link canals the country to transfer water from surplus basin to water deficit basin.

Stated objectives
To take water from surplus to deficit areas To solve the problems of ALL drought and floods permanently President on Aug 14, 2005 address to the nation: I feel that it has the promise of freeing the country from the endless cycle of floods and droughts. To solve the power generation problem of country.

Stated Benefits
Flood Control (40 m ha area and 260 m people saved from floods that leads to damages of Rs 2400 crore/year) Drought proofing (86 m people in 14 states, 116 districts saved) Relief of 1200 crore per year from floods/ drought damages Irrigation: 35 m ha Hydropower generation 34 000 MW installed capacity Foodgrains production: 400 m t by 2020 70 lpcd water to every citizen Navigation Employment generation

Main Features
30 River Links Involving 37 Rivers How much additional water? 300 BCM (President of India speech on May 11, 2005) No of reservoirs: 60 (Rainer Horig) Estimated cost: Rs 5 60 000 crores Estimated submergence
1 675 000 ha (Rainer Horig: 625 000 ha for canals and 1 050 000 ha for reservoirs)

Estimated displacement:
0.45 M (official document) 3.47 M (Rainer Horig)

It also build some 3000 storages to connect 37 Himalayan and Peninsular rivers to form a gigantic South Asian water grid. The canals, planned 50 to 100 meters wide and more than 6 meters deep, would facilitate navigation.

The cost of implementation of inter-basin transfer proposal prepared by the NATIONAL WATER DEVELOPMENT AGENCY , at 2002 price level, is roughly Rs. 5,60,000 crore . This includes the cost of power component 1,35,000 crore.
The remaining cost of Rs. 4,25,000 crore would be for irrigation and water supply.

It will handle 178 km of inter-basin water transfer/per year. It adds 35 million hectare to Indias irrigated areas, and generate an unknown volume of navigation and fishery benefits. It will create 34 giga watts of hydro-power capacity. Some 3700 MW would be required to lift water across major watershed ridges by up to 116 meters. The interlinking project comprises of two components

i. ii.

Himalayan component Peninsular component

* * * * * * *

Kosi - Mechi link

Chunar - Sone Barrage link Sone dam - Southern tributaries of Ganga link Manas - Sankosh - Tista - Ganga link Jogighopa - Tista - Farakka link Farakka - Sunderbans link Ganga - Damodar - Subernarekha link

Kosi - Ghaghara link Gandak - Ganga link Ghaghara - Yamuna link Sarda - Yamuna link Yamuna - Rajasthan link Rajasthan - Sabarmati link

* * * *

Subernarekha - Mahanadi link

* * * * * * * * *

Mahanadi - Godavari Link Inchampalli - Nagarjunasagar Link Inchampalli - Pulichintala Link Polavaram - Vijayawada Link Almatti - Pennar Link Srisailam - Pennar Link Nagarjunasagar - Somasila Link Somasila - Grand Anicut Link Kattalai Vaigai - Gundar Link

* * * * * * *

Ken - Betwa Link Parbati - Kalisindh - Chambal Link Par - Tapi - Narmada Link Damanganga - Pinjal Link Bedti - Varada Link Netravati - Hemavati Link Pamba Anchankovil - Vaippar

The Himalayan component will transfer 33 Km water and Peninsular component will transfers 141 Km water through a combined network of 14,900 km long canals (NWDA 2006). The Himalayan Component needs several large dams in Bhutan and Nepal to store and transfer flood waters of the tributaries of the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers, and within India to transfer the surplus waters of Mahanadi and Godavari rivers.
The total cost of the project too has three components: the Peninsular component will cost Rs 1,06,000 crore; the Himalayan component will cost Rs 1,85,000 crore; the Hydroelectric component will cost Rs 2,69,000 crore.

Himalayan Peninsular Component component

Links Reservoirs Power Installed Capacity Cost, crores Water Transfer Additional Irrigation Link Canal Length Drought mitigation 14 16 30,000 MEGA WATT 454,000 141.3 BCM 22 M ha 61,000 km 1.7 m ha 16 58 4,000 MEGAWATT 106,000 33 BCM 13 M ha 4,777 km 0.85 m ha


30 74 34,000 MEGAWATT 560,000 174.3 BCM 35 M ha 10,877 2.55 m ha

Forest Land required, ha Total Land required, ha Estimated number of people that may be displaced

Himalayan Dams Himalayan Link Canals Peninsular Dams Peninsular Link Canals total

4,300 16,758

162,304 99,315

245,079 311,849

73,646 9165

404,843 99,508

611,313 311,004





Cost of Link at 2003-04 Prices

Peninsular Links

Mahanadi-Godavari Par-Tapi-Narmada Parbati-Kalisindh-Chambal Ken-Betwa Damanganga-Pinjal Godavari (Polavaram)-Krishna (Vijyawada) Godavari (Inchampalli)-Krishna (Nagargunasagar) Godavari (Inchampalli Low Dam)-Krishna ( Nagargunasagar) Krishna ( Nagarjunasagar)-Pennar (Somasila) Krishna (Srisailam)-Pennar Krishna (Almatti)-Pennar

14,192.97 7,077.57 3,689.82 3,726.54 1,110.92 9,107.84 23,431.19 10,058.65 8,297.91 106.33 7,442.52


Cost of Link at 2003-04 Prices

4,529.02 3,003.66 515.65 326.58 102,808.26 Himalayan Links

Pennar (Somasila)-Palar-Cauvery (Grand Anicut)

Cauvery (Kattalai)-Vaigai-Gundar Pamba-Achankovil-Vaippar Bedti-Varada Netravati-Hemavati Total Cost of Peninsular Link

Manas-Sankosh-Tista-Ganga Jogighopa-Tista-Farakka Ganga - Damodar - Subernarekha Subernarekha - Mahanadi

56,520.17 46,846.10 19,849.71 70,403.07


Cost of Link at 2003-04 Prices

16,964.19 4,726.47 7,627.26 644.70 22,656.09

Kosi-Ghagara Chunar - Sone Barrage Sone Dam - Southern Tributaries of Ganga Farakka Sunderbans Sarda Yamuna

Yamuna Rajasthan
Rajasthan Sabarmati Ghagra Yamuna Gandak Ganga Total Cost of Himalayan Link with MSTG Link

11,241.29 76,465.57 27,022.12 341,522.94

Table 6. The link canals in the Peninsular Links

Link Canal Length, km Canal bed width at head, m (slope) Supply Water depth at head, m (velocity)

Canal Water to Approximate Irrigated carrying be land requirement for the link Area, lakh ha capacity at diverted, BCM c anal head, cumecs

Mahanadi (Manibhadra) Godavari (d/s)

210.45 73.5 (1:20 m 000 through (Manibhadra- out) Rushikulya) 436.05 (RushikulyaSarada) 181.2 (SaradaGodavari) 43



22267 ha (1098 ha FL) 6048 PAPs to be resettled due to LC

3.52 in Orissa: 0.91 in AP; 4.43 total




Godavari (Inchampalli) Krishna (Nagarjunsagar)


109.6 (1: 20 000 through out)




7567 (661 ha FL + 300 ha FL for colony/road)


21.8 km lead canal Godavari (Inchampalli) Krishna (Pulichintala) Godavari (Polavaram) Krishna (Vijaywada) 312.2 (12.5 km Tunnel)

9 (1:7500)





33.4 (17.9 m at Tail) (1:20 000)

6.75 (1.183 m/s)

304 cumecs (187 cumecs at tail) 405.12 (280 at tail)


4555; Pop Density in Command area: 6.7 per ha (2001 census) 24000* (pop density in command 4.97 persons per ha)


174 (Right)

68.5 (1: 20 000)

4.9 (3.95 at tail) (1.05 m/s)


area is

208 (Left) Krishna (Almatti) Pennar Krishna (Srisilam) Pennar 587.175 32 (1: 20 000 then 15 000 and 5.25 230 1.98 (population density in command: 1.11 2.31 71 ha FL, 178 villages along the canal 80 ha (embankment & power house)

2.096 (CCA of 1.4 l ha in RBC and transfter to 2265 mcm; CCA of 1.75 l ha in LBC) 2.58 (1.46 in Krishna basin and

204 (existing) (180 th natural streams) Offtake 202.75 393.02 (tail) 21.3 67.5 58.9 7 6 6


Krishna (Nagarjunsagar) Pennar (Somasila)

488 565 498

12.146 (slope varies from 1: 2200 to 1: 20 000)

9823.8 ha (895 ha FL) 5148 PAPs, 9 villages

5.81 (4.13 existing area u NSRBC; 1.68 proposed)

*Rainwater harvesting and conservation of water
resources : Changes in topography, soil system and
runoff flow pattern in a changing climatic environment is considered. Not only stored rain water but soil erosion is also prevented.

*Recharging ground water reservoir : Skills have to

be developed for arresting rain water where it falls and allowing it to recharge these ground water reservoirs.

*Large scale utilization of ground water in deltas

: practically feasible and initiatives for borewell
development and irrigation needed with responsibility lying .

*Community participation: Approaches of reducing

water consumption by the affluent in the cities and reducing the wastage of water by the farmers in their field can be attempted.

* Environmental costs (deforestation, soil


*etc.) * Rehabilitation: not an easy task * Social unrest/Psychological damage due to *forced resettlement of local people (for

*Sardar Sarovar project) * Political effects: strained relationship with * *neighbors (Pakistan, Bangladesh)

*Desertification: Prevention of natural flooding may led

to desertification as there will be loss of fertile soil.

*River pollution: Reducing the flow of river by diversion

will increase the concentration of pollutants in the river.

*Security: Security of network will be an enormous load

on security forces of central and state governments. As canal can be easily breached by manual or natural activities.

*Land acquisition and displacement: Misery and

injustice to the displaced people in obtaining compensation due to systemic corruption.

*Technical feasibility: The slope, altitude and other

topographical aspects have to be considered. (e.g. for Ganga, Patna is diversible surplus but for raising water to Vindhya chain i.e. 2860 ft. high enormous amount of power is required).

*Political Concern with neighbours (pakistan and

bangladesh , nepal)

Can ILR solve flood problem?

According to President (speech on 110505) flood affects 8 major basins, 40 m ha and 260 m people ILR is to have Lined Canals with 1:3,000 to 1:5,000 slope or 0.33 to 0.20 m per km. Maximum flow velocity 2 m/s. A 100 m wide & 10 m deep lined canal can carry about 1,000 cumecs.
River Average flood discharge(cumecs) Water to be diverted through ILR canal(cumecs)


60,000 50,000

1,500 (2.5%) 1,000 (2.0%)

(Figures thanks to SG Vombatkere, ILR figures from official website:

ILR can clearly not help solve flood problem

* Environmental cost:
- 50,000 ha of forest to be submerged only by

peninsular link. - Intensive irrigation in unsuitable soils will lead water logging and salinity. - Highly polluted rivers will spread toxicity to



- River system will be altered catastrophically creating droughts and desert.

Location of Dam Hydrology: Rainfall Catchment area Design flood

Near Polavaram village in W Godavari dist, 42 km u/s of the existing Cotton Barrage 1023 mm 306643 sq km 102000 cumecs

* Salient features of Polavaram

80170 MCM 45.72 m 41.15 m 194.6 TMC (5511 MCM) 75.2 TMC 84.7 TMC (incl evaporation) 193.36 TMC 23.44 TMC 1.5 TMC 5 TMC 274.57 TMC 582.57 TMC 323396 Ha 291114 Ha 436792 Ha 12x80 MW installed capacity

Available runoff at Polavaram dam site (Assessed by NWDA from computed series of 1951-52 to 1980 81 75% dependability Reservoir data: FRL MDDL Gross storage at FRL Live storage Water Utilisation; Diversion to Krishna Irrigation: LMC & RMC Water supply to Vizag Demands of Chhattisgarh Demands of Orissa Godavari Delta demand TOTAL Irrigation: Culturable command area Net Area to be irrigated Annual irrigation Power

*Submergence: 276 villages, over two lac people

* Polavaram: Serious implications

including villages in Orissa and Chhatisgarh, mostly adivasi population *Human Rights violations *Public Hearing violations *EIA violations *No R&R plan *Submergence of deposits of Chromite, graphite, iron ore and coal bearing area *3 705 ha Forest land under submergence *Submergence of parts of Papi Hills WLS *Environmental clearance under suspicious circumstance *Environmental clearance without forest clearance


National Commission about ILR-1

*The Himalayan Component data are not freely

available but on basis of published information it appears that this component may not be feasible for the period of review up to the year 2050. (Executive Summary, pp (ix)) *Further it says about the Himalayan links, the costs of construction and environmental problems would be enormous. These links should only be taken up if and when they are considered unavoidable in national interest. The Commission also noted, On the basis of published information, the commission is of the view that the Himalayan component would require more detailed study using systems analysis techniques. (p 187-88)


* As regards east flowing peninsular rivers, the studies indicate that based

on mean annual flows except for Krishna (if irrigation intensity is adopted at a rather high 45 %), Cauvery and Vaigai, the balances are positive in other cases. The shortage in Cauvery is 12 % of gross demand and that in Vaigai 16 %. These shortages result from increasing the present irrigated area to 1.4 times in case of Cauvery and 1.6 times in case of Vaigai and assuming return flows at 60 % of the imbalance. In case the return flow is taken as 80 % of the imbalance, there is no shortage in Krishna and those in Cauvery and Vaigai are reduced to 5 and 8 % respectively. Thus, there seems to be no imperative necessity for massive water transfer. The assessed needs of the basins could be met from full development and efficient utilization of intra-basin resources (Executive Summary, pp (ix)) * Par-Tapi-Narmada Link proposal: Taking the entire system, the cost of water delivered is high and can hardly be borne by the farmers at prevailing agricultural prices. The irrigation rates may have to be very heavily subsidized which is not in conformity with current thinking. It is felt that these links should be deferred till the impact of the SSP is seen and need for additional water is clearly established. * Netravati-Hemavati link: The cost is rather high due to requirement of lift.