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Submitted By
Mr. Pankaj P. Lingot
Guided By
Prof. I. A. Najmi

Department of Civil
Our present issue is the
preparation of the scheme for
interlinking of rivers with a view to
avoid loss of life, property and
agriculture produced due to floods and
droughts in different parts of the
country. Although 75% of the earth’s
surface is covered with water, only a
minuscule Proportion of it is available
for human needs as fresh water.
With so little water available and
most of it polluted & depleted,
disputes over the use of fresh water
are becoming very common.
The National river interlinking
plan has offered as a concrete
solution to water scarcity, primarily
for three claims, which it makes:—
i) First, interlinking would lead to a
permanent drought proofing of the
country by raising the irrigation
potential to equal the current net
sown area of about 150 million
ii) Second, it would mitigate the
annual floods in Ganga and
iii) Third, it would add 34,000 MW
of hydropower to the national pool.
The water availability even for
drinking purposes becomes critical,
particularly in summer months as the
rivers dry up and ground water
recedes. Regional variations in rainfall
lead to situations when some parts of
the country do not have enough water
even for raising a single crop.
On the other hand excess rainfall
occurring in some parts of the country
creates havoc due to floods.
• Construction of all the types of dams
wherever they are technically feasible
and where there are no cheaper
alternatives available.
• Effective and Efficient use of
available water.
•Treatment and recycling of Water
•Interlinking of river by means of
Interlinking of Rivers as a solution
for drought and flood is not a new
proposal. It was Sir Arthur Cotton who
had originally proposed the networking of
rivers more than a century ago, and Dr.
K.L. Rao, the Minister of Power and
Irrigation in the Cabinet of Smt. Indira
Gandhi revived this proposal in 1972.
Both were no doubt eminent engineers.
Sir Cotton’s prime concern was for inland
navigational network.
The Government prepared its
own plan in 1980 and in 1982 the
National Water Development
Agency (NWDA) was set up to
carry out detailed studies. It
envisioned a 30 year plan but
following the Supreme Court
the Task Force has published a
time table which lists 2016 as the
date for completion.No explanation
has been provided how this is to be
managed. Such a project should
have been preceded by a study of:
i) Financial Viability
ii) Technological Capability
iii) Ecological Sustainability
iv) detailed Environmental Impact
N.W.D.A. has completed the pre-
feasibility studies of 14 links in the
Himalayan Component. They are -
1.Manas- Sankosh- Tista Ganga
2. Jogighopa - Tista- Farakka link
3. Ganga- Damodar - Subernarekha
4. Subernarekha - Mahanadi link
5. Farakka - Sunderbans link
6. Gandak -Ganga link
7. Ghaghara - Yamuna link
8. Sarda - Yamuna link
9. Yamuna - Rajasthan link
10. Rajasthan - Sabarmati link
11. Chunar - Sone Barrage link
12. Sone dam - Southern
tributaries of Ganga link
13. Kosi - Ghaghara link and
14. Kosi -Mechi link
N.W.D.A. studied deeply the
water balance studies of various
major rivers pre -feasibility studies
for 16 probable links where carries
out, out of which 7 have also been
completed. The links are -
1. Mahanadi - Godavari link
2. Inchampalli-Nagarjunasagar link
3. Inchampalli Low Dam –
Nagarjunasagar Tail Pond link
4. Polavaram - Vijayavada link
5. Almatti - Pennar link
6. Shrisailam - Pennar link
7. Nagarjunasagar - Somasila link
8. Somasila - Grand Anicut link
9. Kattalai - Vaigai - Gundar link
10. Pamba - Achamkovil –
Vaippar link
11. Bedti - Varada link
12. Netravati - Hemavati link
13. Damanganga - Pinjal link
14. Par - Tapi - Narmada link
15. Ken - Betwa link
16.Parbati - Kalisindh - Chambal link
Lesotho Highland Water Project, Africa : It is
the largest interbasin and transboundry water
project in Saharan Africa having 5 phases
with series of dams, tunnels and power
State Water Project, California: It has 22 dams
&reservoirs. It utilises 30% water for
irrigation, 70% for residences and industries
in California.
Wanjiazhai Water Transfer Project, China:
The project shall benefit 40% of China’s land.
It has 5 pumping stations and 4 aqueducts.
1. Hydropower Generation: The biggest bonus
of this project is the production of electricity.
This project will add 34000MW of
2. Irrigation: This project has a potential to
irrigate another 3.5 crores hectare-meter.
Employment :There is huge employment in
agriculture sector but if we properly
rearrange on our resources we can definitely
go ahead of other countries with the help of
this mega project.
4. Navigational facilities.
5. Famine and Drought-Prone Area
6. Ground water level increases.
7. Development of industries.
8. Desert areas will be irrigated.
9. Flood protection and managements.

1) Very expensive project:

2) Resettlement due to construction:
3) Huge land under construction
4) Conflicts between states:
Though India being a tropical
country, having very good rainfall,
with number of major reservoirs, yet
searching for water in summer is not
stopped. This may be due to the poor
water management policies. Linking
of rivers may solve the above
mentioned problems.