New Delhi: Government has taken up Interlinking of River (ILR) programme under National Perspective Plan (NPP) on a high priority. The Detailed Project Reports (DPR) of Ken – Betwa Link Project, Damanganga – Pinjal Link Project and Par-Tapi-Narmada link project have been completed. The various clearances in respect of Ken-Betwa link project, Phase-I are in the advanced stage of processing. The link project has been recommended by the State Wild Life Board of Madhya Pradesh in its meeting held on September 09, 2015 for forwarding the proposal to National Board of Wild Life (NBWL) of Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change for according the Wild Life Clearance to the project. The Phase-I of the project will irrigate 6.35 lakh hectares of land and provide 49 of MCM of drinking water supply at estimated cost of Rs. 9393 crore to Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
The DPR of Damanganga – Pinjal link was completed in March, 2014 and submitted to Governments of Maharashtra and Gujarat. The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) which has been made the nodal organization by Govt. of Maharashtra has submitted the Detailed Project Report of Damanganga – Pinjal link project to Central Water Commission in January, 2015 for appraisal. This project will take care of the drinking water needs of the city of Mumbai.
The Detailed Project Report of Par-Tapi-Narmada link has been submitted to the Governments of Gujarat and Maharashtra in August, 2015. Both the State Governments have been requested to forward their comments / views on the same at the earliest. The issue of water sharing between Gujarat and Maharashtra in respect of Damanganga-Pinjal and Par-Tapi-Narmada link projects is being taken up on a priority basis.
In addition to NPP links, National Water Development Agency (NWDA) has taken up the proposals of Intra-State links in a vigorous manner. Prefeasibility Reports of 35 Intra-State links have been prepared and submitted to concerned State Governments. Further, DPRs of two Intra-State link projects namely (i) Burhi Gandak-Noon-Baya-Ganga and (ii) Kosi-Mechi have already been prepared and submitted to Government of Bihar. These are being examined in CWC. Four other DPRs of Intra-State links of various States are under preparation.
A Special Committee on ILR was constituted under the Chairpersonship of Minister, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation on September 23, 2014 for carrying out the ILR programme. Seven meetings of the Special Committee for Interlinking of Rivers (ILR) have been held so far, the last meeting was on November18, 2015 at New Delhi. A Task Force for Interlinking of Rivers was constituted by the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation on April 13, 2015. Two meetings of Task Force were held on April 23, 2015 and November 5, 2015, to examine all relevant issues which will help in bringing about a consensus amongst the States on the link projects. The Task Force and four sub committees constituted by the Special Committee on ILR will assist Special Committee for ILR.
The Interlinking of Rivers Programme is critical for enhancing water and food security of the country especially in the water short, drought prone and rainfed farming areas. The Government of India is committed to the Implementation of the ILR Programme through consensus and cooperation of the concerned State Governments. The Supreme Court in its judgment of February 27, 2012 has held the ILR programme to be in national interest and has directed for its early implementation. Cooperation of all the States is essentially required for the success of Interlinking of Rivers Programme, which shall bring prosperity to the nation.