ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Interlinking of Rivers in India

The present form of the river interlinking proposal, made by the National Water Development Agency, has been hailed as a 'must' for the country by many politicians. This paper critically examines the assumptions behind and the main justifications extended for the project. The paper disagrees with the concept that river basins can be mechanically divided as 'surplus' or 'deficit' ones, and views the proposed interlinking as an extremely cost-ineffective measure for the expansion of a rather inefficient traditional irrigation process. Thus, in the event of the mega-project being taken up as it is, it will lead to sub-optimal use of the water resources of the country through a huge and unwise investment. The official justifications for the proposed interlinking of rivers are not found to be backed by any scientific reasoning.

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