Grand distraction called river-linking
The idea of interlinking rivers is appealing because it is so grand. But this is also the reason it is nothing more than a distraction from the business at hand.
Guest opinions
March 2012

President Kalam, please listen
Six leading advocates of decentralisation and people centred planning met the President to impress upon him that the Interlinking of Rivers project is a step in the wrong direction.
Interlinking rivers | Water
May 2005

'Not the litmus test for patriotism'
The entire weight of technical opinion has been to proceed with caution on the Interlinking of Rivers. An extract of Jairam Ramesh's speech in the Rajya Sabha debate on the working of Ministry of Water Resources on 20 April 2005.
Interlinking rivers | Water
May 2005

A breach in the interlinking plans
Forced by the Supreme Court to make its research public, the agency that claimed to have conducted feasibility studies on interlinking rivers puts out an incomplete document. Sudhirendar Sharma notes, however, that the politics of this mega-project will keep it alive, despite such incompetence and disregard for regulations.
February 2005

Cart before the horse
With little agreement among the States both on the desirability and feasibility on the proposed river links, separate negotiations for each link reeks of unrealistic ambition. But ultimately, the paradox of this project is that its proponents are taking a bottom up approach to the execution of a top down decision, says Videh Upadhyay.
May 2004

Unseen waters
Water beneath rivers and streams flows so fast that only a portion of it is tapped by wells. Subsurface dams would obstruct this, and allow more to be extracted. Additionally, they can force flows to the surface, making substantially more water available downstream without major ecological and human costs, says Jagadiswara Rao.
May 2004

The doubtful science of interlinking
Why exactly do we need to link our rivers? Are we short of arable land, or are crop yields too low? Are we short of rainfall, or do we manage the available water poorly? Can arithmetic hydrology adequately substitute ecology? Jayanta Bandyopadhyay and Shama Perveen of IIM Kolkata present a sweeping analysis.
February 2004

Interlinking the Chief Ministers
How can a state that only a few weeks ago expressed concerns over river diversions, so quickly change its assessment? Sudhirendar Sharma notes the reversal of positions on the interlinking mega-project is tied to political changes rather than environmental or social assessments.
February 2004

Linking lives, not rivers
Utthan's water management schemes in Gujarat show that empowered local communities can tackle water problems, and have little need for New Delhi's grand designs. More importantly, the spin-off social and economic benefits, deliberately woven into these local efforts, are significant, too.
October 2003

Interlinking? No, thanks
The Kerala Assembly has decided that the state has nothing to gain - and plenty of already scarce water to lose - from the massive plan. The Assembly resolution has come at the right time in reviving a long-lost ecological consciousness.
October 2003

River links and judicial chinks
Why did the Supreme Court take up interlinking rivers? When only one state filed its view in court, why did the court presume a 'consensus'? With two options at every turn, the Court has consistently picked the unconvincing one, and this has hindered the necessary discussions, says Videh Upadhyay.
Opinions | Videh Upadhyay

The river linkages payoff
Against all the evidence, a conspiracy appears to have been hatched at the top echelons of the government to somehow bring this massive river linking project on the national agenda. The lure of gigantism today is the prospect of large and easy kickbacks, says Prashant Bhushan.
June 2003

Interlinking : Epitaph for the displaced
Mr. Suresh Prabhu, when asked for estimates on the numbers of people to be displaced and about the cost of rehabilitation: "This is to be worked out but the benefits outweigh the costs." If it is yet to be assessed, how can anyone be sure that the benefits outweigh the costs, asks S G Vombatkere.
March 2003

The need for public debate
Proponents of interlinking rivers must consider that an explicit definition of "public interest" or "public good" needs be used to identify the primary stakeholders and their stake in such a massive 'development' project.
February 2003

Arguments and Alternatives
There may be an overall shortage of water, but the gravity of the problem is primarily due to improper distribution, vast differential in consumption and wastages. S G Vombatkere presents alternatives to and arguments against interlinking.
January 2003

Salvation or folly?
Mass transfer of water across river basins is a gigantic project entailing construction of dams and canals and other connected hydraulic engineering works. Several questions need to be asked and answered first.
January 2003

Interlinking Mirages
Anyone who knows what river systems and river-basin projects are will know that whatever water the plan to connect the nation's rivers holds is but a mirage.
December 2002

EARLY PLANS : The eight links that are initially planned are

 •  Damanganga-Pinjal
 •  Par-Tapi-Narmada
 •  Ken-Betwa
 •  Pamba-Achankovil-Vaippar
 •  Sarada-Yamuna
 •  Godavari (Polavaram) - Krisha
 •  Krishna (Nagarjunasagar) - Pennar
 •  Krishna (Srisailam) - Pennar