CAPF Essay Notes: Cleaning & Connecting Rivers in India

By Naveen Singh|Updated : June 20th, 2020

Rivers are ancient and flowing before the flow of human blood. River flowing is very important for the aquatic ecosystem and a very large source of renewable energy. Rivers have that habbit of moving from source to the ending point that is sea called the base level. While moving river is crossing different habitats and human settlements. Because of the large scale of industrialisation, a lot of pervasive influence is exerted by a human in water resources. River and humans are having a close relationship to grow together. So, there is a need to clean the water from this precious source.

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While coming from mountain rivers are having a great amount of flow and energy which sometimes create flood and disastrous situation in low lying areas.

The rainfall is highly variable across India. Eastern and western part is not having that much rain while the northern and southern part is having high rain.  India is also experiencing monsoons, floods and late mosoons with droughts. Because of this variability round the demand for irrigation, drinking water and industrial water. India's problem with water scarcity will solve after interlinking the river and send the water to the water-scarce region.

Benefits of river interlinking-

  1. It will give benefit to the transport sector and river transport will be cheaper.
  2. It will ease the pressure on railways and roads by introducing inland navigation.
  3. This is less polluting having a minimum amount of carbon prints.
  4. It will provide irrigation benefit to western and peninsula region having water scarcity.
  5. It will create employment opportunities and with irrigation, food security is also ensured.
  6. River interlinking will generate 34000 MW hydropower.
  7. It will provide clean drinking water and water for irrigation purposes. This project is also expected to eradicate the water problem in the northeastern state.
  8. This will help in pollution control, fisheries, growth of forest and protection of wildlife etc.

Problems related to interlinking

There will be negative impact on climate, environment, loss of habitats, problems with aquatic ecosystems, submergence if vast areas from land to reservoirs ( interlinking of ken and Betwa river in panna riger reserves in Madhya Pradesh). It will lead to loss of lives and human settlements and the ultimate result is migration. It will also have international impact like with Nepal, Bhutan and Pakistan etc. Interstate dispute is also there inside the country ( dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over water if Cauvery river).

It is still doubtful in the case of India that interlinking will lead to some benefits to humankind and society or it is just to fool people because, at many instances, big dams like Ranganadi dam, the Damodar dam, the Farrkha and Bansagar dam brought avoidable flood disasters in many states.

By proper use and management of water resource already present their country can avoid interlinking to some extent. This interlinking project provides great concern for water conversation and optimal use of water resources.

Cleaning of rivers

Most of the rivers in the world today are in a crisis situation of degeneration and degradation. Almost 80% of the population live on the banks of the river so their habitation is in great danger because of river pollution and fluctuation issues. So cleaning and rejuvenation is another different concern for human kind.

Why cleaning is an important issue-

The river is the central of economic and development of society in different sectors. A supply of clean water is necessary for the stability of sectors like agriculture, industry, household etc. So, that we can ensure good food security and disease-free society.

The current government is having Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Ganga rejuvenation mission for cleaning rivers. They expressed it as Sujalam Sufalam (water for prosperity) for all the development and governmental plans and healthy livelihood.

The planning for the river should be as a whole not as in parts like not an only the central river but also the marginalised river and basin planning. One of the neglected aspect and problem with pollution in the river is navigation.

Rivers are not polluted our actions are having pollution. Pollution caused by runoff from agricultural chemicals, poorly managed industrial processes and lack of adequate treatment for sewage and other urban waste is the most serious threat to rivers and remains a challenging issue. It is rightly said humans and ecosystem will suffer id river are polluted.

So, both interlinking and cleaning of the river should be done with proper management with analysis of social, economical and environmental factors. We can use bad experiences and good experience from international cases and use them as our planning.

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