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Editorial: The impact of river linking project
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Rishab Arora
Graduate in Economics. Gold medal in Dissertation, Prepared various documents on Demonetisation and GST, Share-trading and many more

Unacademy user
Sir will you be making monthly course on Kurukshetra Magazine ? As your explanation is indeed helpful
  1. THE IMPACT OF THE RIVER LINKING PROJECT


  2. The National River Linking Project (NRLP), envisages the transfer of water from water surplus' basins where there is flooding to water 'deficit basins where there is drought/scarcity, through inter-basin water transfer projects. It links rivers by a network of reservoirs and canals that will allow for their water capacities to be shared and redistributed This is an engineered panacea that will reduce persistent floods in some parts and water shortages in other parts besides facilitating the generation of hydroelectricity for an increasingly power hungry country. The term 'surplus' as per the Government, states that it is the extra water available in a river after it meets the humans' requirement of irrigation, domestic consumption and industries The term 'deficit' has also been viewed in terms of humans only and not from the river's perspective, which includes many other factors.



  3. Components of River Linking Projects It has been split into three parts: 1. Northern Himalayan Rivers interlink component. 2. A southern peninsular component. 3. An intra-State rivers linking component Proposed Benefits of the River Linking Projects The river interlinking project claims to generate total power of 34,000 MW (34 GW). . The project claims to provide additional irrigation to 35 million hectares (m ha) in the water-scarce western and peninsular regions, which includes 25 m ha through surface irrigation and 10 m ha through groundwater. It will lead to Ground water Recharging. . The inter-link would create a path for aquatic ecosystems to migrate from one river to another, which in turn may support the livelihoods of people who rely on fishery as their income.


  4. * The River Linking project is a great challenge and an opportunity to address the water issues arising out of climate change. The long-term solution to water scarcity lies in making the River Linking project work by building a network of dams and canals across the length and breadth of the country. However, interlinking has to take place after a detailed study so that it does not cause any problem to the environment and society.


  5. India's massive civil engineering project, the National River Linking Project (NRLP), will not only reduce inflow of the northern rivers, but also significantly reduce the sediments deposited by the rivers in deltas, a study shows. Fertile deltas will be under threat, with coastal erosion expected to threaten the land and livelihoods of local economies that support 160 million people * Four researchers from the University of Colorado sought to fill critical knowledge gaps in the understanding of the impact of the project: reduction in river discharge due to extensive canal works, and silt trapping in newer reservoirs and barrages. The study was published earlier this year in the journal Elementa: Science of the Anthropocene. The NRLP, which comprises 29 canals totalling 9,600 km, will involve the movement of 245 trillion litres of water, the study shows. Researchers supplemented data from the National Water Development Agency, which is implementing the project, with over 500 documents culled from various sources. On implementation, water discharge in 23 out of 29 rivers will reduce considerably, they say. The Ganga will see a 24% decrease in flow. Its tributaries Gandak (-68%) and Ghaghara (-55%) will be the worst affected, while the Brahmaputra will see only a 6% loss, its tributaries will see massive flow reductions: Manas (-73%), Sankosh (72%) and Raidhak (-53%). Changes in water flow and trapping of silt in reservoirs will see a dip in the sediment deposited by rivers


  6. In the Ganga-Brahmaputra delta, projected aggradation (the amount of silt deposited by rivers in its delta) will decrease by 30% to 2.5 mm per year on average. This will aggravate loss of land in a delta where sea level rise is estimated to be 5.6 mm on average annually. The story for other deltas is similarly worrying. Already, reduced inflows due to natural and man-made processes has led to shoreline losses in the Krishna, Godavari and Mahanadi rivers. The NRLP will compound the problem. Though the Cauvery will see increases in flow (33%, with its tributary Penna seeing a staggering 450% increase), there will be almost no impact in its sediment discharge. "Rare ecosystems and vital agricultural areas would become more vulnerable to storm surges, river flooding, and heightened salinity... the system will push the deltas further in the wrong direction," warns the study.