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Issue Debate #11 Is Interlinking of River Project a bane or boon?

Issue Debates Archives


The River Interlinking Project is often touted as an antidote to the problems of floods and drought. Discuss the impact that it may have analyzing it from human, geographical and environmental and policy perspectives. Can this project help solve the problems it claims to solve?

Reading List:-

1. View Attachment with this Post ( Must Read )
2. http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-09-15/news/66568827_1_link-project-ken-betwa-damanganga-pinjal

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Comments

  • i wrote a comment bout recent krishna godavari linkage and many wer saying dat its not a true linkage its just water transfer so wat it means linking them with just a canal , ok but in case we dont have sufficient gradient dan we hav to use pumps n all coz in northen plains slope is low so how will we than link perrineal river with others
    and how will it imbalance ecology considerably , will dat effect be more harmful dan the positive impact of water supply to the deficient parts ?
    i think this is a good topic this year

    kindly participate
    thnx
    The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who bring fake insider info
  • 1.not just dams but a sound canal system is a requisite for providing water 4 irrigation
    2. with unpredictable n lesser rainfall every year we cant rely upon RW harvesting alone however efficient it might be
    3. RLP wll also be used to check floods

    4 .i think dat electricity generation shdnt be prime objective and should be supressed completely where it cud effect ecological flow
    The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who bring fake insider info
  • @leonerd - Big irregularities in mega infrastructure projects is not hidden. Poor planning and execution, political interference, money swindling and scams further delays and erodes quality of project and assets in India.

    I agree with you on sound canals network and RWH point. But RWH is unexplored in majority of areas. Enhancement of this at local level should be given compulsory importance. Sewage improvement, water recycling at industrial and city level through water treatment processes can be done. Scientific water use, genetic advancement and cropping pattern will increase the productivity, management, utility and minimize scarcity of water.

    Variation in water contamination / constituents / temperature will affect the marine life and bio diversity in interlinked rivers and we are very bad managers of biodiversity. Hence this should not be ignored.

    I agree with you that we can improve the present canals and use for transportation,irrigation and human needs. Local level lakes need to be desilted, cleaned of debris and weeds shoould also be done, improvement in the inlets, bedding and maintenance of them should be done. The costs can be reduced by licensing fish farming in these lakes. Maintenance can be given to a local farmers or community to ensure better management.
    very insightful

    howerver i dont think dat river differ much in der pollution content barring few and dat cud be taken care of with proper restrictions , so this biodiversity problem may not be dat significant it will surely be der bt impact cud be minimised
    dont know bout this temp diff effect on biodiversity heard it for corals only , minor temp diff to chala hi lenge sab though i dont know much

    and if dams wll be made just 2 transfer water n not for producing electricity dan not much harm to areas wll be done
    The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who bring fake insider info
  • Linking of rivers to combat the problem of floods and droughts is an intuitive solution. By linking rivers through man-made canals, civil tech., water surplus areas are linked with water deficit areas.

    The interlinking river project(ILR) aims to link the perennial Himalayan rivers with the seasonal peninsular rivers. Its an ambitious project containing 30 river-links which will have huge ramifications.

    -- Social perspective:

    1.)The canals linking two rivers will bring abundance irrigation and lifestyle benefits to communities alongside it. These canals can be strategically developed to pass through drought areas.

    2.)Both agriculture and industries can be developed in such areas, bringing prosperity.

    3.)But traditionally any such river linking project requires huge social costs in displacement of poor, particularly the most vulnerable tribal populations.

    4.)Land acquisition for canals and the subsequent population rehabilitation are huge priority areas for the success of any such project.

    5.)Usually rivers change course after every 80-90 years, hence people dependent on such canal systems might have to face the vagaries of nature like submergence of their fields or less and less water for their uses.

    -- Geographically & Environmental Concerns

    1.)Indian landforms have huge differences over short distances. Any river linking project has to be developed minutely, taking care of local differences. Overarching centralised planning is detrimental to such projects.

    2.)Diversion of rivers cause physical and chemical changes in local sediment load, river morphology, and shape of river basins.

    3.)Interlinking may transport river pollution from one river to another. It may also lead to change in the aquatic cultures of the rivers.

    4.)The present catchment areas might undergo desertification with the lack of water. Deltas of various rivers might also shrink due to non-availability of sediments and water(e.g. K-G basin)

    5.)Stagnant and slow moving water in the linking canals also run the risk of becoming a disease hotspot (Malaria, Filariasis).

    -- political concerns

    1.)Interlinking of rivers has both international and national implications.

    2.)Internationally Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal are all going to raise objections on projects which might lead to shrinkage of the availability of river water for them.

    3.)Within India it would be tough task to make the states consent to share their river water with another state. The unending litigation in Inter-States water disputes are a cue here.

    4.)Several states like Kerala, Andhra pradesh, Sikkim, Assam have raised objections to ILR projects.

    5.)Both legal and instituitonal issues need to be dealt with in order to address political concerns nationally and internationally.

    6.)Also it will be a huge tug and war fest in deciding which areas the canal has to pass through.

    --Question does not ask about economic concerns, but we can give a few like huge cost of such projects, sources of funding, rivers changing course after some time might make project uneconomical etc etc.

    #Last part of the question. Here we can mention the various objectives of such river linking projects. For eg.

    -Cheap and environmental friendly navigation system can be developed.
    -Cheap electricity generation.
    -Huge impact on agriculture, alleviating distress in areas like Telangana, Saurashtra etc.
    -Lessen farmer suicides.

    #Can the project help solve problems? Yes it has huge potential, but unless adequate care is taken to address the pol, social, eco, env. concerns it will be a huge disaster.

    So what should the project policy look like : It should incorporate suggestions to all such concerns mentioned above. Total fodder points.

    Na mai padheya, Na mai likheya
    Par mai duniya, toh badha sikheya
  • edited September 2015
    River interlinking- a pet project of new government -seen as WIN-WIN solution of twin but exactly opposite problems of nation
    1) water deficiency( draught situation in southern states)

    2) water abundance ( flood problem of northern states)

    Claimed benifits of project-

    1) resloving the twin problem of nation by interlinking thru man made canals

    2) bringing hetherto unirrigated areas under proper source of irrigation=> more productivity=> more income for farmers

    3) avenues for hydro energy (35gw per day potential!)

    4) aiding in disaster mgt esp floods in bihar etc

    5) opening new routes of cheaper and faster IWTs.

    6) drinking water supply to many needy regions etc

    But widely criticised even by various expert committees too bcz-

    1)huge cost of mammoth project-abt 5.60 lac crores in 2001!!

    2)unseen and unknown ecological and bio diversity impacts apprehensions

    3) consensus making very difficult -multiple states as well as international actors involved

    4) technology and feasibility issues still lurking -mean sea level lattitudinal difference is highly negative to project implementation suitability

    5) high enerhy requirement for uplifting water due to above reason

    6) huge consequent deforeststion and displacement of locals due to project

    7) rights aware citizenary /ngo will create obstacles in implementations due to above apprehensions!!

    So need is D3, thorough EIAs, cautious, pragmatic amd synergised approach on issue on this widely criticised well-intentioned initiative.. :-)
    Being IAS... 4 U Onlyyy... :-)


    " Woods are lovely dark and deep..
    But I have promises to keep..
    But I have promises to keep..
    And miles to go before I sleep.. before I sleep. " :)

    #HumHongeKamyaabEkDin :)
  • @RasAlGhul "Internationally Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal are all going to raise objections on projects which might lead to shrinkage of the availability of river water for them."


    How come Nepal and Bhutan will have objections?...as far as I know none of the Indian rivers go into these countries...they lie in upper en-catchment areas of rivers
    Help me find Sir John!!
  • @Kesariya_Vilayati ji.. sahi kaha aapne. But aap ek cheez assume kar rahein ho ki river linking is only taking place between rivers on indian mainland. Aisa nai hai.

    Agar aap pdf khologein, toh usme diya hua hai ki rivers will be linked internationally too. e.g :

    Linking of Ganga and Gandak (Major river in Nepal)
    Linking of Ghagra and Mechi (Another river in Nepal) and so on.

    Whether these countries will agree to do the river linking or not, is the concern. I should have framed my line better though as shrinkage of water is not the major concern of Bhutan and Nepal, unlike Bangla. But the point to keep in mind is that river linking is going to take place across borders and here these nations will have concern.
    Na mai padheya, Na mai likheya
    Par mai duniya, toh badha sikheya
  • @Kesariya_Vilayati ji.. sahi kaha aapne. But aap ek cheez assume kar rahein ho ki river linking is only taking place between rivers on indian mainland. Aisa nai hai.

    Agar aap pdf khologein, toh usme diya hua hai ki rivers will be linked internationally too. e.g :

    Linking of Ganga and Gandak (Major river in Nepal)
    Linking of Ghagra and Mechi (Another river in Nepal) and so on.

    Whether these countries will agree to do the river linking or not, is the concern. I should have framed my line better though as shrinkage of water is not the major concern of Bhutan and Nepal, unlike Bangla. But the point to keep in mind is that river linking is going to take place across borders and here these nations will have concern.
    @RasAlGhul u were very thorough thanks =D>
    The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who bring fake insider info
  • check out this topic in decipherias.com
    +1
    " The more you sweat in peace , the less you bleed in war."
  • ndia is one of the countries which are facing fresh water shortages. India also suffers from shortages of electricity, irrigation facilities, natural calamities like floods and droughts.

    One of the innovative ideas to solve all these problems is river linking project i.e by supplying water from water surplus river to water shortage river.

    Madhya Pradesh and Utter Pradesh are working on Keb-Betwa interlinking project. The project will have adverse impact on nearby Panna Tiger Reserve by submerging 15% of its core area. Madhya Pradesh has to add additional land in the buffer area to compensate for it.

    The water linking project have its own problems like lack of availibility of water throughout the year, canal silting, inter-state water disputes, expensive construction and maintanance, water pollution, environmental pollution and damage to wild life and marine life. Unless all aspects are properly taken care of, river linking project might not be worth pursuing. Social and Environmental assessment is thus necessary before finalizing such projects.

    So inter-linking can be both bane or boon.
  • The main idea behind these linking projects is to transfer water from the flood prone areas to the drought prone areas along with the ideas of irrigating 87 million acres of land, generating 37 GW of electricity, management of domestic and industrial water supply and navigational facilities.

    OK, with all these benefits, but i think that these projects are somewhat imprudent and dangerous, with little clarity on the ultimate impact of such a massive undertaking.

    1--We are talking about surplus and deficit, but a river has its own course and it is flowing from many years,, it is not a pipe , which we can turn or control against its course, why to compare GANGA with another river system it has its own ecosystem, its own marine life.
    also after the construction of a dam and a canal there happens to be the displacement of huge communities
    Just like too much talked KEN-BETWA project....the major part of PANNA TIGER RESERVE is going be displaced.
    2--And the monetary support required is also not less...on an average 10 lakh crores are required minimum...who is going to fund this huge sum of money. also SOCIAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT is missing from the governmental plans.these displaced people will definitely will be landed in slums.
    3--there will be the huge problem of SILTING.... in project there is no clarity where this silts from the river is going to be dumped.
    4--And POLITICALLY if we see,,,, the water is the STATE SUBJECT which require many legal clarifications from the state govts. between whom the water will be shared.
    The govt. is not clear on any above topics,,,,so considering the environment and community issues---overall i think this is NOT GOING TO BE ANY KIND OF BOON.

    SUGGESTION- One has to exhaust all its options and potentials before finalising linkages--
    like--1--Watershed development
    2--Rain water harvesting
    3--ground water recharging
    4--optimising existing infrastructure and cropping methods.
  • Inter linking Project is envisaged by goi to link 30 rivers in a way to ensure that perennial rivers would help peninsular rivers to maintain continuos flow of water in river.
    It is being touted as the antidote to problems of floods as it would protect river sided areas from exorbitant flow of water because of the construction of dams as envisaged in the project.Similarly it would ensure the perennial availability of water for farmers as this dams would help in the construction of canals according to the availability of land.
    however there are certain limitations of the project seeking its impact socially geographically and environmentally.
    Socially it would lead huge displacement of people,particularly Vulnerable group.financially it would incur a huge cost impact on finance of the countries as the project is very expensive.
    Geographically it would lead to international dispute with neighbouring countries as seen in teesta 's river case thus bringing animosity in relations.Inter state dispute between states is the another impact .
    Environmentlly it would impact the aquatic life and would intermingle non polluted rivers with polluted rivers.Since rivers changes their flow in 80-90 yrs ,the negative repurcussions cannot be rules out .
    Thus Ilp in its present forms has certain loopholes as river dynamics are not taken under consideration.Though ot would help in hydroeclecticity generation but the cost incurred is massive.
    Thus all the pre requisite like the dynamics of rivers,displacement and rehabilitation,reduction in cost ,ensuring safety of aquatic life and utilising methods like rain water harwaesting to be done before piling up such a mammoth project
  • i read in this article that national waterways project ll be a better alternative for interlinking rivers.can anyone explain how ll that be possible?
    http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-05-08/news/39116884_1_water-security-water-bodies-river-linking-project
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