27 September 2012

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Supreme Court Order implement interlinking of rivers project review petition rejected

Supreme Court Order implement interlinking of rivers project review petition rejected

Background of Case -

The interlinking of rivers can be traced back to the plans of British engineer Sir Arthur Cotton who sought to link the Ganga and the Cauvery.

As early as in 1834, Sir Arthur Cotton, who had constructed the Godavari and Krishna dams, suggested a plan called the `Arthur Cotton Scheme' to link the Ganga and Cauveri rivers.

In 1930, Sir C.P. Ramaswamy Aiyar also suggested and supported such a scheme. 
Thereafter, various political leaders of the country have supported the cause; but no such schemes have actually been implemented.

The Ministry of Irrigation, along with the Central Water Commission, had formulated in the year 1980 a National Perspective Plan (NPP) for optimum utilization of water resources in the country which envisaged inter-basin transfer of water from water-surplus to water-deficit areas.
Apart from diverting water from rivers which are surplus, to deficit areas, the river linking plan in its ultimate stage of development will also enable flood moderation.

It was comprised of two components: Peninsular Rivers Development and Himalayan Rivers Development. The first involved major
inter-linking of the river systems and the latter envisaged the construction of storage reservoirs on the principal tributaries
of rivers Ganga and Brahmaputra in India, Bhutan and Nepal.

This was to help transfer surplus flows of the eastern tributaries of the Ganga to the West, apart from linking the                                                              
main Brahmaputra and its tributaries with the Ganga and Mahanadi rivers.
The scheme is divided into four major parts:
Interlinking of Mahanadi-Godavari-Krishna-Cauvery  rivers and building storages at potential sites in these   basins.

Interlinking of West flowing rivers north of Bombay and south of Tapi.

Interlinking of rivers Ken & Chambal.

Diversion of other west flowing rivers from Kerala.

It is emphasized that the cost is negligible when compared to the potential benefits which may be bestowed on the nation.

The 1980 National Perspective Plan of the erstwhile Ministry of Irrigation,
presently the Ministry for Water Resources envisaged inter-basin transfer from water-surplus to deficit areas.     It would have direct benefits, like the irrigation of 35 million hectares (Mha), full exploitation of existing irrigation projects of 140 Mha, power generation of 34 million Kilowatt (KW); besides the indirect benefits like flood control, navigation, water supply, fisheries, pollution control, recreation facilities, employment generation, infrastructure and socio-economic development etc.

The Supreme court formed a task force in 2002, which set an action plan for all detailed project reports to be completed by 2006, and projects to be implemented by 2016.
This is not done till today and no project has reached the implementation stage.

Supreme Court of India in its February 27 judgment, directed the Union of India to implement the ILR project and to set up a special committee to carry out that implementation.
The committee’s decisions shall take precedence over all administrative bodies created under the orders of the court or otherwise.

The Union Cabinet should to take all final and appropriate decisions, preferably in 30 days.

The court also granted “liberty to the learned amicus curiae to file contempt petition in this court, in the event of default or non-compliance of the directions contained in this order.”

Supreme Court of India dismissed the Centre’s plea seeking review of its direction to Government to implement the ambitious interlinking of rivers project in a time-bound manner

A bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia refused to have a relook at its February 27 judgment directing the Government to “forthwith” constitute a committee for interlinking of rivers.

The Bench said: “This is a matter of national benefit and progress. We see no reason why any State should lag behind in contributing its bit to bringing the inter-linking river programme to a success, thus saving the people living in drought-prone zones from hunger and people living in flood-prone areas from the destruction caused by floods.”

The above judgment of the Supreme Court of India is one of the landmark and excellent judgment.

Reality views by sm –

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Tags – River Linking India 


Alex September 27, 2012  

A plan with almost 200 years now approved

Destination Infinity September 27, 2012  

I think no Govt. wants to take this risk. That's why it's been postponed. The issue is with flooding. Without proper flood management system in place, many feel that implementing the inter-linking of rivers is risky. That said, nothing is impossible. The Krishna river in AP was extended till Chennai. Similar things could happen elsewhere.

I think they planned a gas pipeline from Iran to India. Why not have a similar water pipeline from the edge of Ganga and other rivers to areas that need it?

Destination Infinity

chitra September 27, 2012  

Good one. This would help many water deficit states. But should see what all hassles will arise.

SammyK September 28, 2012  

hopefully they get it worked out. I think irrigation and flood protection will be a great gain.