The interlinking of rivers is a proposed large-scale infrastructure project in India that aims to connect major rivers through a network of canals, reservoirs, and dams. The primary objective of this project is to address the multi-dimensional inter-related problems of droughts, floods, and interrupted navigation. Here is a critical examination of the potential benefits and drawbacks of the project:
- Enhanced water distribution: The project aims to transfer water from surplus regions to drought-prone areas, reducing regional imbalances and providing additional irrigation potential.
- Flood control: By building reservoirs and dams, the likelihood of destructive flash floods can be reduced.
- Improved navigation: The interlinking of rivers could lead to the development of 15,000 km of river and 10,000 km of navigation, reducing transportation costs.
- Employment opportunities: The project is expected to generate jobs for landless farmers in rural areas.
- Afforestation and tourism: Large-scale afforestation and the creation of about 3,000 tourist spots are expected as a result of the project.
- Environmental concerns: Interlinking rivers can lead to deforestation, water logging, increased salinity, and water pollution due to inland waterway navigation.
- Ecological impacts: The project may threaten natural ecosystems, as rivers are complex systems with their own identity, flow, habitat, and complexities.
- High costs: The project is estimated to cost around USD $123 billion, raising concerns about its financial feasibility. copyright©iasexpress.net
- Displacement of communities: The construction of dams and reservoirs may lead to the displacement of local communities and loss of livelihoods.
The interlinking of rivers in India has the potential to provide solutions to the multi-dimensional problems of droughts, floods, and interrupted navigation. However, it is crucial to consider the environmental and social impacts of the project and conduct comprehensive environmental impact assessments to minimize negative consequences and ensure sustainable development.