Model Question and Answers for APSC | Do you agree with the view that the interlinking of the rivers can address the water issues in India? Give reasons for your answer. (APSC Mains 2020 GS- I)
Ans: The spatial and temporal variations in the rainfall over India has led to denotation of water ‘surplus’ and water scarce river basins in the country. The project for interlinking the rivers in India aims at transferring water from water ‘surplus’ to the water scarce basins.
The Interlinking of River (ILR) programme is of national importance and has been taken up on high Priority. The mission of this programme is to ensure greater equity in the distribution of water by enhancing the availability of water in drought prone and rainfed areas.
The National Perspective Plan (NPP) prepared by the Ministry of Water Resources has already identified 14 links under Himalayan Rivers Component and 16 links under Peninsular Rivers Component for inter basin transfer of water based on field surveys and investigation and detailed studies.
The interlinking of the rivers can address the water issues in India:
1. This project can solve the problem of drought and flood because at the time of need the river which causes flood can give water to the area of the river which has a shortage of water because the water can be stored or water can be transferred from the water surplus area to the deficit.
2. Ganga and the Brahmaputra region can get rid of floods that come every year with the help of this project
3. Large scale rainwater harvesting can also increase Groundwater recharge rate
4. The irrigation land will also increase manifold, for example through Par, Tapti and Narmada link (PTN) arid regions of Maharashtra can be targeted.
5. 15,000 km of river and 10,000 km of navigation will be developed. Thereby reducing the transportation cost.
6. Large scale afforestation can be done and tourist spots can be built.
7. This project will solve the problems of drinking water and financially also will solve the problem. For example Ken Betwa link will solve drinking water problems and irrigation issues in water scarce Bundelkhand region.
8. It is also possible to get jobs for landless farmers in rural areas.
The necessity and feasibility of river-interlinking should be seen on a case to case basis, with adequate emphasis on easing out federal issues. Local solutions (like better irrigation practice) and watershed management, should be focused on given the high social and environmental costs.