To what extent, the river inter-linkage a can be a solution for the drought problems. Critically examine.

The river interlinking project intends to the transfer of water from ‘surplus’ basins to water scarce zones, through interlinkage rivers.  For example, the Ken-Betwa interlink will provide a relief to Bundelkhand region and will help in increasing per capita water availability as well as it will open more avenues for irrigation.
However, the river interlinkage can solve the water scarcity problem up to a limited extent only. One of the major hurdles in interlinkage is Inter-basin inequality, though certain rivers may have surplus water presently that may not be the case in future due to climate change.Also, artificial linking of rivers will disturb the ecology of the region and there will be the problem of displacement of people. Also, the cost of the inter-linkage project is very high.
River interlinkage can not be a  panacea for the water crisis. An Environmental impact assessment along with proper cost-benefit analysis should before considering linkage. Along with that focus should be on creating awareness regarding recycle, reuse of water. Also, there should be judicious use of water in irrigation and more and more water should be stored through the revival of traditional water storage systems.
There is no doubt the water is a scarce resource and the focus should be on efficient utilization of water. For this behavioral change is a must.

Question for UPSC Mains:
To what extent, the river inter-linkage a can be a solution for the drought problems. Critically examine. Daily Pioneer | The Hindu

Published: September 13, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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