Inter-Linking of Rivers:UPSC IAS Exam
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Ministry of Environment and Forest & Climate Changed (MoEF) and the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board to submit to it a ‘factual report’ on the status of the Godavari-KrishnaPenna river linkage within a month.
- NGT has also ordered the applicant to approach the MoEF and the APPCB within a week to seek information whether the scheme or river inter-linkage proposed by the State government had the necessary environmental clearances.
- The river interlinking project was the brainchild of the NDA government and in October 2002, the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had formed a task force to get the project going against the backdrop of the acute drought that year.
- The task force had submitted a report recommending division of the project into two —— the Peninsular component and the Himalayan component.
- The Peninsular component —— involving the rivers in southern India —— envisaged developing a ‘Southern Water Grid’ with 16 linkages. This component included diversion of the surplus waters of the Mahanadi and Godavari to the Pennar, Krishna, Vaigai and Cauvery.
- The task force had also mooted the diversion of the west-flowing rivers of Kerala and Karnataka to the east, the interlinking of small rivers that flow along the west coast, south of Tapi and north of Mumbai and interlinking of the southern tributaries of the river Yamuna.
- The Himalayan component envisaged building storage reservoirs on the Ganga and the Brahmaputra and their main tributaries both in India and Nepal in order to conserve the waters during the monsoon for irrigation and generation of hydro-power, besides checking floods.