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National river interlink project. RAVINDRA THOSAR RATE AGREEMENT TEAM. need. Floods and drought have become a recurring problem in India and the project is aimed at improving the situation.

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national river interlink project
National river interlink project



  • Floods and drought have become a recurring problem in India and the project is aimed at improving the situation.
  • Last year a severe drought hit several Indian states, while floods destroyed people's harvests in many other areas.
  • The sharing of river water has also led to tensions among some states, the most outstanding example being Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. These two southern states have been fighting for over a century over the Cauvery river.
national river inter link project
National River inTer-link project
  • In 1972, The then Minister for Irrigation K. L. Raoproposed a 2640 kilometer long link between the Ganga and  Cauvery rivers.
  • Plan is to link 37 rivers which would save the country from drought and flood and help feed millions.
  • In 1982 the National Water Development Agency was set up to carry out surveys of the links and prepare feasibility studies.
  • The Inter-link would consist of two parts,

- A Northern Himalayan River Development component

- Asouthern Peninsular River Development component.

himalayan development
Himalayan development
  • A series of dams built along the Ganga and Brahmaputra rivers.
  • Canals would be built to transfer surplus water from the eastern tributaries of the Ganga to the west.
  • The Brahmaputra and its tributaries would be linked with the Ganga and the Ganga with the Mahanadi river.
  • Extra flood will be controlled in the Ganga and Brahmaputra river basins. Provides additional irrigation for about 220,000 Sq. Km.

Generate about 30 gig watts of electricity.

Provide excess water for the controversial Farakka Barrage in West Bengal

peninsular development
Peninsular development
  • The purpose is to transfer surplus water from the Mahanadi and Godavari rivers to the south of India.

1) First, the Mahanadi, Godavari. Krishna and cauvery rivers would all be linked by canals. Extra water storage dams would be built along the course of these rivers.

2) Second, those rivers that flow west to the north of Mumbai and the  Tapi would be linked. The water would be used by the urban areas of Mumbai and also to provide irrigation in the coastal areas of Maharashtra.

3) Third, the Ken and Chambal Rivers would be linked to provide better water facilities for Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

  • Provides additional irrigation to 1,30,000 S.Q Km

Generation an additional 4 gig watts of power.











  • Can control draught and flood situations
  • Cheap water for irrigation
  • Availability of drinking water
  • Generation of hydroelectric power
  • Allowing more inland navigation
  • Employment generation
critics 1
critics 1
  • Enormous costs estimated at some Rs 5.6 L Crores :-

250% of India’s tax revenue in 2002,

1/4th of India’s annual GDP

Twice the entire irrigation budget of India since 1950

  • Land acquisition and displacement : Estimated that 8,000 sq. km. of land affecting the thousands of villages and towns
  • Geographical problems : 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).
  • Riparian rights: Bangladesh and Pakistan have to be taken into account.
critics 2
Critics 2
  • Environmental cost:

- 50,000 hectors of forest to be submerged only by peninsular link

  • River pollution

-Reducing the flow of river by diversion will increase the concentration of pollutants in the river.

  • Role of government agencies.
  • Alternatives like Rainwater harvesting and conservation of water resources, Recharging ground water reservoir
success stories
Success stories
  • China

- Various water diversion projects in its internal parts.

  • Egypt

- Nile river interlinking with other small rivers in Egypt

  • Gujarat

- Gujarat state through its “ Sardar Sarovar Prakalp” and “Sujlam - SuflamYojna” diverted Narmada’s water through canal network to other dry rivers.

  • Thinking on every side of this project, this project would be definitely beneficiary not for decades or centuries but for thousands of years.