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  Asia-Pacific
River Linking Project of India — Expectations
By Tanveer Jafri
Contributing Writer
The President, Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, asked the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) to provide "useful inputs on the macro-economic impact of the interlinking of rivers project."

Two third part of the earth is covered with water yet there is a dark future for the usable water in the world. The ocean water is salty, pungent & polluted & at some places it is even poisonous & can kill a being. Despite all the efforts, the scientists have not been able to make it worth drinking & usable for agriculture & industry. That's why, with the increase in population in the world, the demand for clean water is also increasing. Some farsighted analysts are of the view that if there is no solution for the drinking water, it will not astonish that next world war is for the control of water. To face these worries, many countries of the world are working to get out of this trouble of water scarcity.

In a large country like India, a big project to connect about 30 big rivers & canals has been started under the supervision of International Water Management Board. This work has been named National River Link Project. In spite of it, that India is known as an agriculture dominant country but unfortunately, there is no right distribution & management of river water. That's why one third of our country's agriculture is destroyed because of drought or floods. Obviously its adverse effect is on the farmers & at the same time on the economy of our country. The North-West & Southern states in India fulfill the water needs of their agriculture from the rivers & canals but the eastern regions of the Ganges remain badly in spate of water. Many rivers of the eastern sector take so fierce form that all the crops & even the villages are destroyed in floods. As a result of it, the country has to suffer heavy losses of life & property. This has been going on for the last many centuries. But after the warning of global warming, the entire world including India is now alert & many countries have taken many firm & positive decisions for the management of sweet, fresh & clean water.

In India, the rivers that are proposed to be linked with each other, work on many of them has been started. Some of the main projects are such as Mahanadi has to be linked with Godawari & the river Inchampalli is to be linked with Nagarjun Sagar & Pulichintala. Somasila River is to be linked with Nagarjun Sagar & Grand Anicut Link. To Link of Penar River to Almati & Siriselam, to link Yamuna river with Sharda & Rajasthan & Rajasthan is to be linked with Sabarmati. Similarly Son bairaj is to be linked with Chunar & Ganges in the South, to link Ganges River to Damodar River & Swarn Rekha River to Mahanadi. In the same way, Farkka is proposed to be linked to Sundervan & Jogichhopa. Linking of Ganges-Gandak, Ghagra-Yamuna, Kosi-Ghagra & Kosi-Mechi links are also proposed. Besides this Netravati-Hemwati Project, Pamba-Anchankovil viper link is also proposed. Similarly Daman Ganges to Pinjal, Bedati to Varda, Parvati to Kali Sindh & Chambal and Parvati, Tapi & Narmada links are also proposed.

The only aim of this largest river link project of the world is to make use of the water that goes waste in flood & with the help of this River Link Project assure good use by make available water to those areas that face drought & acute scarcity of water. It is assumed that if this largest project, being worked in three phases, is completed & regional politicians cooperate fully then there will be increase in the agricultural production & at the same time increase in national agricultural income. The people will get relief from the havoc caused by floods & drought. And above all, the people will get clean drinkable water.

On one side, many positive results are being told from this great project & on the other side, this project is being criticized. There are some leaders in some states who are trying to make people understand that if this project is completed, water form their own areas will go to other areas. They have many arguments of this type. But undoubtedly, all these arguments are based on limited & narrow thinking as well as on vote bank. Whereas the River Link Project is a national project & it has nationwide importance. The people who oppose this project are from some active organizations that belong to a special political thinking. Their spokesmen travel widely in the country, organize meetings & seminars and show such a terrible picture of these projects that a common man is perplexed. Their main arguments are to take risk of having a big amount as loan from World Bank or International Monetary Fund. They allege that all this exercise is only for the benefit of foreigners by handing over this project to them, to use many expensive techniques for this impossible looking project & continuous running of this project. According to these critics, all these are some very expensive measures. They also state that there is a conspiracy behind it that wants India to be overburdened under heavy debt. Not only this, the opponents of this project are also making propaganda that if this project is completed from foreign money taken as loan, the expenditure on this project will be so much that the debts can't be cleared. And in such a situation, these rivers will go under the control of those powers that have spent money on it.

In such circumstances the Government of India & the people working on this project have a duty to propagate through newspaper & advertisements, again & again, all the aspects of this project with full transparency before the country. In this way all the doubts that exist in the countrymen will be cleared & people of the country will know the merits & demerits of the project. If the National River Link Project is a useful project in reality & there is possibility of increase in agricultural production, then the expenditure incurred on this project can be easily recovered. There should be steps to control the people who are opposing this project widely. In fact, whereas the people who are facing drought & floods are happy to hear the news of this project, at the same time the manifold critical arguments against this project are subject that worry them.



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Other Articles by Tanveer Jafri
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Mr.Tanveer Jafri, who serves as contributing writer for The Seoul Times, is a noted columnist in India. He writes on a variety of issues including world peace, anti-terrorism, and national & international politics for numerous news dailies and portals in India. As a devoted social activist he is member of Haryana Sahitya Academy & Haryana Urdu Academy.

 

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