Letter to Editor

Interlinking Rivers / dams for Bihar?

Interlinking Rivers / dams for Bihar?

Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:57 am

River-link project assumes urgency after Kosi disaster
RC Rajamani
NEW DELHI, Oct. 29: The death and devastation caused by the floods and consequent breach of embankments, leading to deviation of the Kosi river’s course has given a keen sense of urgency to the nationwide river link project that has been in contemplation for decades. full textLetter to The Statesman:
Re: River-link project assumes urgency after Kosi disaster

Dear Editor,

We have many lessons to learn from the devastating floods on Kosi river.

We need to give higher priority and budget to desilting the river bed and maintaining existing embankments so that they serve their purpose. We should not seek to solve every problem with a new dam that would in effect alter river flows in a haphazard and shortsighted manner.

In particular we must be extremely cautious before proposing any project involving a large dam on the Kosi. This region is prone to low-intensity earthquakes. Impounding such a volume of water may affect seismicity. Furthermore, Kosi river has too big a catchment area and that will face water logging if a large dam is constructed on it. Even if a dam provides a short term solution to flooding, it may be at the risk of a different disaster – earthquake, or loss of agricutlural productivity in one of India’s most densely populated state. Interlinking rivers would only send water south to less densely populated states, and require the food cultivated there to be transported north.

Barh Mukti Abhiyan convener DK Mishra has stated that the floods of this year are due to negligence. Let us take more care of our resources rather than jumping forth into megaprojects of uncertain merit and sizable risk.