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Do people really need interlinking of rivers?
Himanshu Thakkar, Indian water activist and leader of SANDRP

Do people really need interlinking of rivers?

In the detailed piece, Himanshu Thakkar rightly says that the river interlinking project will adversely affect land, forests, biodiversity, rivers and the livelihood of millions of people. On the other hand it would not be helpful for irrigation, water supply, hydropower generation, flood protection. As per him, interlinking of rivers is a very expensive proposal. It has huge adverse environmental impacts on land, forests, biodiversity, rivers and the livelihood of millions of people. It is a socially disruptive proposition. It will not only add to climate change impact (destruction of forests means destruction of carbon sinks, and reservoirs in tropical climate are known sources of methane and carbon dioxide), but will also reduce our capacity to adapt to climate change.
He concludes that there is no doubt that if we can store water during the monsoon, we can make it available in the post monsoon months. But the water resources establishment sees big dams as the only storage option. Yet, the biggest, cheapest, most benign, possibly fastest and most decentralized storage option for India is the groundwater aquifer.
Similarly in another report, Bharat Dogra while acknowledging SANDRP work raises a very important question about interlinking of rivers. He writes that the data on which rivers are running low and which are carrying surpluses is not publicly available. There is also no conceptual clarity of the indicators needed for defining ‘deficit’ and ‘surplus’.
It is surprising that the project still does not have final forest clearance and conditions of Forest/ Wildlife clearance recommendations are at variance with the project that was recommendation for EC. Unfortunately, our media friends are only happy giving positive spins or unquestioningly accepting the govt claims.
Cauvery River Disputes Tamil Nadu Govt asks SC to set up authority True, Centre let a vacuum prevail after the 2007 Cauvery Tribunal’s Award as it has not set up Caurvery Management Board as yet to resolve the dispute. The case has been lingering in SC for last 25 years. During 20 Sept hearing, Tamil Nadu Govt has reportedly insisted that court itself appoint an authority and frame a scheme for sharing and management.
In the next hearing on 21 Sept., the apex court has reserved its verdict in an appeal case. As per the report political parties and Tamil organisations are concerned over what they believe was the Centre’s attempt to drag the dispute.
Kerala, Tamil Nadu Govts to hold talks on water disputes As per the report Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan called on his Tamil Nadu counterpart Edappadi K. Palaniswami here on 21 Sept. decided to hold official-level talks to solve the water disputes between the two States.The two neighbouring States are locked in a row over the Mullaperiyar dam with Kerala raising apprehensions over the safety of the over-a-century-old structure.Other water-sharing disputes between the two States include the Parambikulam-Aliyar Project (PAP) with Kerala accusing “violations” by Tamil Nadu, and the Neyyar river dispute.
Tamil Nadu Farmers seek more water in irrigation canals Tiruchirapalli farmers facing problem as PWD has reduced Mettur dam water release from 10000 cusecs to 2000 cusecs in view of the Cauvery Maha Pushkaram festival.