Environmental Geology

, Volume 51, Issue 8, pp 1361–1376 | Cite as

Proposed river-linking project of India: a boon or bane to nature

  • Anil Kumar Misra
  • Anju Saxena
  • Manish Yaduvanshi
  • Ajai Mishra
  • Yogendra Bhadauriya
  • Alok Thakur
Original Article


India is a vast country and is highly diversified in terms of natural resources and socio-economic setup. Moreover, its water resources are unevenly distributed in space and time. With increasing population and increasing aspiration for improved standard of living, there is an acute pressure on the demand and availability of water. Though the idea of interlinking of rivers is not a new concept in India, it had rather persisted long back as much as in other countries of ancient civilization. National Water Development Agency (NWDA) has given the real shape to the proposal of the interlinking of rivers of the country. In India the river-linking project in a sensible and scientific manner will not only allow the prevention of the colossal wastage of a vitally important natural resource, mitigate the flood and inundation by detaining flowing surface water of rainy seasons, but also ensure availability of water to drier areas; combating both flood and drought simultaneously. Moreover, this project will generate 34,000 MW of hydropower and irrigation of an additional 35 million hectares (135,135 square miles) of land. Though linking of rivers may initially appear to be a costly proposition in ecological, geological, hydrological and economical terms, in the long run the net benefits coming from it will far outweigh these costs or losses. However, in the absence of any definite international legal framework, Bangladesh has raised objections against the project. This paper aims at looking at this long-term plan, the project proposal, its involvement and impact not only on the states of India, India as a whole, but also on its neighbouring nations which are linked with India through the waterways, and share the common climatic conditions and economic status.


River linking Peninsular rivers Himalayan rivers Ganga Plain Rainwater harvesting India 



We are thankful to Prof. I. B. Singh for their helpful suggestions. We thank Prof. M. P. Singh, Head, Department of Geology, University of Lucknow, for providing working facilities and also for continuous encouragement. Information related to the proposed river-lnking project has been culled from the recent media releases issued from time to time by the press information bureau and other government agencies and related websites. We are also much benefited from the articles of S. P. Das Gupta, P. Chakrabarti and J. Bandyopadhyaya published (2004) in ‘Water Security and Management of Water Resources” by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, Calcutta. Ms. A. Saxena, A. Thakur and Y. Bhadauriya are also acknowledging the CSIR for financial assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anil Kumar Misra
    • 1
  • Anju Saxena
    • 2
  • Manish Yaduvanshi
    • 2
  • Ajai Mishra
    • 2
  • Yogendra Bhadauriya
    • 2
  • Alok Thakur
    • 2
  1. 1.Seismology Division, Department of Science and TechnologyGovernment of India, Technology BhavanNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of GeologyUniversity of LucknowLucknowIndia

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