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Par Tapi Narmada River-Linking Project

Context:

The tribals in Gujarat held a public meeting in Kaprada in Valsad district to protest against the Centre’s Par Tapi Narmada (PTN) river-linking project.

Relevance:

GS-I: Geography (Drainage System in India, Projects to improve Irrigation), GS-III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. Interlinking of Rivers
  2. Par Tapi Narmada river-linking project
  3. Issues with the Project

Interlinking of Rivers

  • In 1858, Arthur Cotton (British general and irrigation Engineer) came up with even more ambitious proposals such as connecting all major rivers of India, and interlinking of canals and rivers. He suggested drought-relief measures for Odisha.
  • The National River Linking Project (NRLP) formally known as the National Perspective Plan, envisages the transfer of water from water ‘surplus’ basins where there is flooding, to water ‘deficit’ basins where there is drought/scarcity, through inter-basin water transfer projects.
  • The interlinking of river project is a Civil Engineering project, which aims to connect Indian rivers through reservoirs and canals.
  • The farmers will not have to depend on the monsoon for cultivation and also the excess or lack of water can be overcome during flood or drought.
  • Since the 1980s, the interlinking project has been managed by India’s National Water Development Agency (NWDA) under the Ministry of Water Resources.

It has been split into three parts as follows:

  1. A northern Himalayan river interlink component.
  2. A southern peninsular component.
  3. An Intra-State river linking component.

As of now, six ILR projects have been under examination of the authorities:

  • Ken-Betwa,
  • Damanganga- Pinjal,
  • Par-Tapi-Narmada,
  • Manas-Sankosh-Teesta-Ganga,
  • Mahanadi-Godavari and
  • Godavari-Cauvery (Grand Anicut)

With regard to the peninsular rivers, the Centre has chosen to focus on the Godavari-Cauvery link.

Par Tapi Narmada river-linking project

  • Under the old Union Ministry of Irrigation and the Central Water Commission, the PTN link project was envisioned in the 1980 National Perspective Plan..
  • The project intends to move river water from the Western Ghats’ surplus regions to Saurashtra and Kutch’s deficiency areas.
  • It proposes to connect three rivers: the Par, which originates in Maharashtra and flows through Valsad; the Tapi, which originates in Saputara and flows through Maharashtra and Surat in Gujarat; and the Narmada, which originates in Madhya Pradesh and flows through Maharashtra and Gujarat’s Bharuch and Narmada districts.
  • Seven dams (Jheri, Mohankavchali, Paikhed, Chasmandva, Chikkar, Dabdar, and Kelwan), three diversion weirs, and two tunnels were built as part of the link.

Issues with the Project

  • The projected reservoirs will drown around 6065 hectares of land.
  • A total of 61 villages will be impacted, with one entirely drowned and the other 60 partially underwater.
  • The overall number of families affected will be 2,509, with 98 families affected as a result of the construction of the Jheri reservoir, Maharashtra’s only one, which is distributed across six villages.
  • When the reservoirs are built, the affected families may lose their lands, residences, or both as a result of the submergence.
  • The tribals who fear displacement are generally in charge of the districts where the project will be conducted.

-Source: The Hindu

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September 2022
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