Interlinking of Rivers in India: Issues and Concerns

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M. Monirul Qader Mirza, Ahsan Uddin Ahmed, Q.K. Ahmad
CRC Press, Jul 25, 2008 - Science - 320 pages
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Inter-basin water transfers are complex human interventions on natural systems that can have profound adverse as well as beneficial social, economic and environmental implications. India’s plan to interlink its rivers (ILR) and to transfer water may, according to one set of views, generate positive benefits through improved and expanded irrigation and may also contribute to flood and drought hazards mitigation for India, although the magnitudes are debatable. However, there are opposing views, in the context of India itself, that the interlinking plan is economically prohibitive, fraught with uncertainties, and has potential for disastrous and irreversible adverse after-effects. Water deficit can be reduced through improved water management without large scale engineering interventions. Moreover many of the rivers involved, particularly in the Himalayan component, are international and, therefore, the scheme has major implications for other riparians. Indeed, the planned transfer of water from the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers will adversely impact Bangladesh socially, economically and environmentally---unless arrangements are made to maintain historical flows, which is unlikely to be feasible. Any multipurpose storage reservoirs in upstream countries, such as Nepal and Bhutan, would facilitate energy generation and other benefits but will also cause adverse environmental and social impacts to these countries. Therefore, the ILR plan will further complicate existing water sharing and management problems between India and other co-basin countries. Strengthening and expansion of cooperative efforts among the co-basin countries for water resources development and sharing can generate economic benefits for the people of these countries and also foster co-riparian relationships.

 

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Contents

Issues and Concerns
1
Experience from Across the World
17
Chapter 3 The Vital Links
35
Questions on the Scientific Economic and Environmental Dimensions of the Proposal
53
An Examination of Viability
77
A Critical Analysis
91
Simulated Changes in Flow
107
Chapter 8 Indias Energy Future and Interlinking of Rivers
129
A Closer Look at the KenBetwa Pilot Link
169
Chapter 12 Implications of Climate Change in South Asia on the Interlinking Project of Indian Rivers
187
International and Regional Legal Aspects
219
Chapter 14 The Indigenous Knowledge Systems of Water Management in India
235
Chapter 15 WaterBased Cooperation in the GBM Region with Particular Focus on Interlinking of Rivers in India
253
Chapter 16 Hydrological Impact on Bangladesh of Chinese and Indian Plans on the Brahmaputra
261
Chapter 17 Could Bangladesh Benefit from the River Linking Project?
275
Index
291

Chapter 9 Potential Public Health Implications of Interlinking of Rivers in India
141
Development in Peril
153
Back cover
299
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