National Water Grid

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: S. Kalyanaraman 
Date: Sun, May 6, 2012 at 8:09 AM
Subject: Representation of Dr. S. Kalyanaraman regarding the proposal for setting up of aNational Water Grid Authority
To: minister-mowr@nic.indvs@nic.insecy-mowr@nic.in
Cc: Prime Minister of India 

Reference (On above subject): No. 6/27/2010-Coord. Govt. of India, Min. of Water Resources (Signed by Arun Kumar, Under Secy, coord., Tel. No. 23716894) of 23 April 2012

I had submitted the representations to the Hon'ble PM of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh. I was a Sr. Exec. in Asian Development Bank.

I am deeply disappointed and shocked at the type of response received to what you have called 'my grievance petition' of 27.7.2009. Just attaching NWDA letter No. NWDA/1123/55/Dir(T)/2011/2738-40 of 24.2.2012, the Under Secretary says that the subject is treated as settled and closed.

I request that the subject be kept open and deliberated further within the Ministry and with other agencies/ministries concerned to involve every panchayati raj institution of the land in the enterprise of creating the National Water Grid, to complement the National Power Grid.

I think the subject is NOT settled. Many issues raised in my letter have been mentioned by NWDA as "Not in the purview of NWDA". The punchline is: "To create National Water Grid is a policy matter and is not in the purview of NWDA."

I expect that MOWR should take a stand and pursue the setting up of National Water Grid, the like of which is operational in Britain. In the wake of the Hon'ble SC judgement, I expect that there will be a greater sense of commitment on the part of MOWR to make a presentation to the Cabinet to improve the nation's capacity in agricultural production with a four-fold increase in production by assuring 24X7 water supply to all alluvial lands of the nation by a grid of irrigation canals and by increasing the command area of irrigation. Please take this matter with the seriousness which it demands and in coordination with the Ministries and Agencies concerned and create a sasyashyamala Bharatam, to fulfil the dream of our national leaders.

I request the Hon'ble Prime Minister to take the lead in implementing the directive of Hon'ble SC. National Water Grid can be in place in the next 5 years to reach tapped water supply to every household in all the 6 lakh villages of the nation and to every piece of arable land. An additional 9 crore acres of land can be brought under cultivation with assured water supply for 3 crops a year; such land can be distributed to 9 crore landless families of the country directly benefiting about 45 crore Indians. Please, make this happen.

I will deem it a privilege to make available any additional information required. 

Thanking you and dhayavaad.

Kalyanaraman, Ph.D.
Sarasvati Research Centre
3 Haven, Temple Avenue, Srinagar Colony, Saidapet, Chennai 600015
kalyan97@gmail.com

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: S. Kalyanaraman <kalyan97@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Mar 3, 2012 at 5:15 PM
Subject: Proposal for setting up of National Water Grid Authority
To: secy-mowr@nic.indgnwda@vsnl.netcehqnwda@rediffmail.com
Cc: Darshan Lal Jain <saraswatiharyana@yahoo.com>, Kumar Chellappan <kumarchellappan@gmail.com>, Raj Varadarajan <raj_varadarajan@yahoo.com>,chitalema@bsnl.in, suresh prabhu <spprabhu1@gmail.com>


To
Shri Dhruv Vijay Singh,
Secretary, MOWR, Govt. of India, New Delhi
cc: NWDA 

Ref.: NWDA/113/55/Dir (T)/2011/2738-40 of 24 Feb. 2012 (copy attached for ready reference)

Sub: Reference of Dr. S. Kalyanaraman, regarding the proposal for setting up ofNational Water Grid Authority

We are grateful for the detailed reply of Director (Tech.), NWDA. It may be noted that on many aspects of the proposal, the MOWR has to approach the Cabinet for a policy decision to follow up on the recent Supreme Court Judgement on Interlinking of Rivers by setting up appropriate cooperative mechanisms between the Centre-Provinces-Panchayati Raj Institutions, Public and Private sector partnerships and project implementation agencies for distribution of 9 crore acres of additional wet land which will be generated by the proposal.

By declaring the rivers as national assets, the first step is taken to provide for anational water policy in close coordination with the provinces and panchayati raj institutions, since water is a concurrent subject among the centre, provinces and panchayati raj.

The objective of the Grid, like the Power Grid is to make available water in sufficient supplies to meet demand in over 6 lakh villages of the country. The supply sources for water may be rivers of India, tanks, lakes, ground-water or even desalinated sea water along the coastline. The demand generated by activing the taps for drinking water or bore-wells for irrigation should be met by the Grid. Such a Grid is operational in Britain as earlier explained. As the late Sir Arthur Cotton had noted the topography of India is ideal for development of not only interlinked resources of river flows but to provide for navigable water ways all over the country as a cost-effective alternative to existing transport systems or pipelines.

Kindly see the replies of NWDA on page 4: Items 1 to 8 and the item 'To createNational Water Grid is a policy matter and is not in the purview of NWDA'. It is suggested that Nationl Water Grid Authority as a policy matter has to be decided upon by the MOWR in consultation with the Provinces and Panchayati Raj Institutions. We believe NWGA will be a logical extension of the declaration of water as a national asset and appropriate institutional structures have to be put in place under MOWR direction and guidance with Cabinet approval.

It will be a privilege for non-governmental organizations like the Sarasvati Research Centre to provide all the assistance needed including creating an awareness, at the grass-roots level, of the imperative of water conservation,water harvesting options and sustainable development of multi-crop patters with 24X7 water availability.

Thanking you for your consideration and looking forward to early implementation of the recent Supreme Court directive. 

Truly yours,


Sd.

S. Kalyanaraman, Ph.D
Director, Sarasvai Research Centre,
3 Temple Avenue, Chennai 600015

The following report should be an eye-opener to Govt. of India, who should get serious about implementing the National Water Grid to reach water to the unreached all over India and to increase the available land for cultivation by 9 crore acres, as envisaged in the perspective plan for interlinking of rivers, prepared by National Water Development Agency, GOI, Min. of Water Resources. If these 9 crore acres of wet land with assured irrigation, can be distributed to 9 crore poor families, the abhyudayam of rural India will be ensured, enabling the doubling of agricultural production in India.

kalyanaraman

http://tinyurl.com/ygsvqc6

China moves 330,000 in water plan

China has begun to resettle 330,000 people to make way for a project to divert water from the south of the country to the north, state media say.

People in Henan and Hubei provinces are being moved out of the way of a canal from the Yangtze River to Beijing, Xinhua news agency said.

When completed, three routes will carry water from southern, central and western China to the arid north.

The $62bn (£42bn) project is already four years behind schedule.

Water is expected to flow from the Yangtze and its tributaries to Beijing in 2014 along the central route.

Environmental concerns

People are being moved from their homes near the Danjiangkou reservoir, which is being enlarged and where a sluice is being built to divert water from the Yangtze and its tributaries.

The Henan provincial government has approved settlement areas for the people being relocated.

Families are being allocated homes and farmland in newly-built villages, and annual subsidies of about $88 (£54), Xinhua said.

But there have been complaints that farmers are being offered less than half the land they currently use.

Critics have also said the massive project will cause environmental damage and still not satisfy northern China's water demands, even when the three routes are completed.

To solve that problem, experts say, the region must conserve what little water it has.

The water diversion project involves China's second-largest resettlement scheme, following the relocation of 1.3 million people to make way for the Three Gorges Dam.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/8314447.stm

 For The Sake of Country, make the River Sarasvati flow again

By

Darshan Lal Jain

President, Saraswati Nadi Shodh Sansthan, Haryana

After originating from Himalaya, Saraswati, a majestic river, flowed in almost south-westernly direction through present day Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat prior to joining the Arabian Sea.  Ancient Vedic culture prospered around its valley and important towns like Kurukshetra, Pehowa, Shatrana, Sirsa, Kalibangan, Pilibangan, Suratgarh, Beriwal etc flourished on its banks. Ample references pertaining to this river are available in Rigveda as “ambitame, devitame and naditame”. Our former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was very excited on seeing a photograph of the River with water and he endorsed his reaction in our visitors’ book as:–

 

“Delighted to see the hard work in realizing reality from epic information”.

                                                                                        A.P.J. Abdul Kalam’.

 

Adi Badri terrace is a recent discovery in Adi Badri area, located almost 30 km north of Jagadhri, just south of Siwalik Hills. Excavations were carried out by Archaeological Survey of India on western bank of the Som River.  Angular shaped pebbles of high grade metamorphic rocks and quartzite embedded on the wall were observed in ABR-II excavation site.  This alien lithology generated tremendous interest as this terrace is situated south of Siwalik Hills in Haryana plains. According to VMK Puri, ex-Director GSI, Vedic Saraswati entered plains at Adi Badri area which can be called as Haridwar of Vedic Saraswati.

Recently, subsurface water started bursting out within a pond of the famous Kapilmuni Ashram in Kalayat (Haryana). A multi-disciplinary scientific team studied the gushing water and the sand that accompanied it. Dr. A R Chaudhary of Kurukshetra University found a suite of angular shaped heavy minerals akin to the one found in Himalayan rocks. Shri Rajesh Purohit conducted geomorphologic studies and concluded that this water belonged to Vedic Saraswati that has been described in Rigveda and other scriptures.  Later on, he along with his team discovered the actual river bed near Jyotisar (Kurukshetra).

During the course of scientific studies carried out from space imageries, scientists from ISRO viz. Drs. A.K.Gupta and B.K.Bhadra discovered a number of fossil valleys restricted to areas around Kurukeshtra, Pehowa etc. in upper central Haryana. They interpreted it as remnants of meandering of Vedic Saraswati. Based on satellite imagery, they have drawn out a map of Saraswati from Glacier to Rann of Kuchch.

Dr M R Rao, GGM, ONGC undertook drilling in a fossil valley near Jaisalmer in Rajasthan and got a discharge of 76000 litres/hr. of water from one of the wells. Out of 24 wells, drinking water was obtained from 23 wells. Scientific tests on this subterranean water revealed that this water belonged to an old river that once existed here. This old river was none other than Vedic Saraswati.

It would be worthwhile to quote from the write-up by Surbhi Khyati appearing in ‘The Sunday Express’ of 11th October, 2009 at page 13 under the caption

‘Big’ find in Jodhpur gets geologists talking

“Professor A.D. Ahluwalia, geologist at Punjab University, said, “Before this discovery, no such Ediacaran plant was known to geologists. This discovery can push back the date of evolution of megaplants in the world,” he said.

Kumar said that the evidence of organic matter in the Jodhpur area points to the presence of petroleum and gas. “The discovery proves beyond doubt that life was present in abundance in the Jodhpur area. It may prove to be a potential source of petroleum and gas,” said Kumar.

Geologists from other universities are excited. “This is a major geological discovery, which has opened up the scope of finding hydrocarbons buried deep under the Rajasthan belt,” said Prof B.S. Paliwal, retired geologist of Jodhpur University. “Till now, we could infer due to some trace fossils here and there that organic beings once existed in these areas. With concrete evidence and the date of rocks, chances of getting petroleum have increased. The Joya Mayer oil field in Pakistan and the Baghewala oil field near the Indo-Pak border show presence of rocks of the same period as the Jodhpur rocks,” said Professor D.M. Banerjee, geologist at Delhi University.”

It is pertinent to point out that it was pursuit of oil in Libya by the ONGC that they struck water inducing them to make a similar attempt in Rajasthan, which fortunately proved successful getting vast reservoir of water as stated in above.

Besides the above geological and other scientific evidences, village-wise revenue record has been collected and compiled proving the flow of Saraswati Nadi in continuity.  Survey of India topo-sheets tally with these revenue records.

 

The writer visited the archaeological site at Kunal (District Fatehabad, Haryana) and amazingly found shells in the dry bed of the Saraswati River. A friend of archaeology showed a conch recovered from Rakhigarhi (Dist Jind, Haryana) excavation.

Folkore is an important factor to be considered for establishing a fact.  Shrimad Bhagwat was penned by Maharishi Ved Vyas at Badrayan i.e. Adi Badri.  Every year more than 10 lakh pilgrims from North India visit Kapalmochan for bathing in crescent shaped sarovar on karthik poornima. 15kms downstream of Adi Badri lies the town of Vyaspur (presently Bilaspur), the abode of Maharishi Ved Vyas. On the outskirts of the town naga sadhus used to bathe in Saraswati kund alongside a perennially flowing Sarawati channel.  Every evening aarti is performed at Saraswati Kund in Saraswati Nagar (presently Mustfabad, Distt Yamuna Nagar). You can see people of surrounding villages performing last rites (asthi visarjan) of their dead at ‘Sangam’ of Saraswati and Som Nadi at Adi Badri.

Unfortunately, in spite of the overwhelming evidence and public demand, the Govt. took no steps to revive the River. The matter was brought before the Hon’ble High Court, Haryana-Punjab at Chandigarh through a Civil Writ Petition (CWP8561 of 1996) by Shri D.P. Dastoor an advocate of Pehowa (Kurukshetra), Hon’ble Justice Amarjeet Chaudhary passed the following order :-

“…….. we direct Deputy Commissioner Kurukshetra and the Municipal Committee Pehowa to remove all encroachments from the land entries of which are in favour of Saraswati river……..”

Unbelievably, all encroachments were removed voluntarily without any use of force. The monumental work of Govt. & Public co-operation at Pehowa has been beautifully documented by the District Administration in a souvenir (samarika).

The Haryana state Government rightly took notice of these developments and undertook deepening & widening of about 100 kms of Saraswati Creek as per revenue record in Kurukshetra District in the year 2007-08 at a cost of Rs. 10 crores. The state Government further approached the ONGC to undertake deep-bore drillings as they first did in Libya (Africa) and then in Rajasthan. The matter is pending with the ONGC since April 2008 without making much progress.

The satellite imagery done by NASA in 1980s showed flow of water in paleo-channels of the Saraswati region. The imagery was confirmed by the Regional Remote Sensing Centre of ISRO at Jodhpur. Dr. D.K Chadha, the then Chairman of the Central Ground Water Development Authority declared in his report that the Saraswati Nadi was very much flowing in Rajasthan. Gujarat State has constructed a “Saraswati Dam” at Mukteswar near Sidhpur and is supplying drinking water through a large size Hume-pipes and irrigation water through an open cemented channel to the populace there.

It would be therefore in fitness of things that the Government of India takes cognizance of the activities going at State levels in Haryana, Rajasthan & Gujarat and constitutes a “SARASWATI DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY” for an integrated utilization and development of this potential source of water augmentation.

It may also be added that the eminent glaciologist Dr. VMK Puri has verified that the Nietwar glacier, from where the River Saraswati emanates, is large enough to ensure perennial flow of water in the Saraswati channel for 10,000 years. Besides the water potential, the Saraswati River has tremendous tourist potential as would be seen from the paper sent by world renowned Prof. B.B Lal that Saraswati Belt in India now provides more than 1000 archeological sites of immense tourist interest.

The Sansthan therefore appeals to the galaxy of scholars interested in the subject to kindly stop discussing about the existence of the river but focus to urge upon the Government of India to constitute a “Saraswati Development Authority” to undertake the Saraswati project on an integrated and coordinated basis. The harnessing of this water-resource would not only provide water for drinking and irrigation purposes, but would also promote echo, pilgrimage and international tourism with the creation of a vast green belt, renovation of tirthas all along the River-course, highlight the antiquity of the civilization of our country and generate tremendous employment opportunities.

20 Oct. 2009


Inter-linking of Rivers Still Born - Offhand by S. Parthasarathy, Oct. 19, 2009

Dear Sirs, (To: Editor, Business Line, Chennai)

This refers to the captioned feature in Busines Line today 

It is quite cruel politics that the “pronouncements” by Rahul Gandhi and Jairam Ramesh should come in the wake of the “first drought and next the deluge” tragedy that peninsular India had suffered. This shows that the people can even today put up with “if you don’t have bread, have a cake” type of political insensitivity, lying down.

The column elaborates on the issue as well as its resolution, tracing the history since independence,  in the first two-thirds of its length. But suddenly, in the conclusion, it reaches out to the cruelly ridiculous statement of one environmentalist and seeks to rubbish this nationally vital issue and its solution.

The hard facts that buttress these actual recent history are : a) Our per capita foodgrains availability now is 500 gm. It is 1000 gm; almost double, in China, a comparable nation. If the per capita availability were to improve even to 800 gm, the foodgrains that we would need by 2050 A.D. would be at least 550 million tones. In order to meet this challenge, we need to create an irrigation potential of 130 million ha. For food crops alone by 2050 A.D. Add to this the enormous quantities of fresh water that would be needed to sustain industrial growth and also for the rapid urbanization and improvement in the quality of life, we are indeed staring into one of the biggest challenges we have faced. b) An official estimate of river flows in India places the total water flow as equal to 1869 cubic kilometers annually. Of this we now use only 550 cubic kilometers i.e. about 30 per cent. The other 70 per cent is just going waste into the sea. Moreover this 70 per cent, on its way to the sea, causes extensive flood damage en route, costing the country thousands of crores of rupees in flood damage alleviation annually. Huge tracts of otherwise arable land lies waste on the other hand due to our inability to transfer the water that is wasting into the sea. The maldistribution would be evident from the following: per capita availability of water in States forming the Brahmaputra basin is 18,500 cubic metres whereas in the east flowing river basins in Tamil Nadir, it is as measly as 380 cubic metres. cIndia has been on the periphery of acute  water-scarcity for over a decade now. And, our water-management plans (or the lack of these) have drawn pointed criticism from world bodies like the World Bank.

d) The National Water Development Agency and scores of eminent engineers have toiled for over two decades on establishing the technical feasibility of the River Link Project. Extensive contour mapping and field surveys have been conducted. It is not any more just a pipe dream or a paper thought.

e) Lately come Janes – Dr.Vandana Shiva and Ms.Medha Patkar –  rubbish both the facts of this issue and the very credible, hard work of scores of distinguished engineers recommending a viable solution. The reported light-hearted comment of Dr.Ms.Shiva that there are “no surplus rivers nor deficit rivers, there are only live rivers and dead rivers” underscores the scorn and total rejection of the basic issues by these ecology-obsessed elements in the Indian system. For all we know, if people die of starvation and thirst or perish  in large-scale  transmigration in search of water (we saw this in a smaller theatre – Dharmapuri District in Tamil Nadu – and it was scary enough!) Ms.Vandana Shiva could say, “Good, the organic waste would enrich the earth.”

If the inter-linking of rivers is “rejected” as Jairam Ramesh has reportedly observed, what does this Government propose to do in the alternative for the country’s water problems, given their severity and immediacy? Why is it that the Minister for Environment is handing out a decision of the Government on a macro-economic issue that has environment only as a small component? What is the Minister for Water Resources doing? Why is a government policy in a coalition government, of which the DMK, a committed proponent of the River Link Project, is an important partner, being defined by the chief of party in one of the coalition parties, albeit the major one? Has this government intimated its “rejection” of the project to the Supreme Court?

The people at large would need to take this debate to a more decent and serious level. It is time that the ecological concerns, strong as they ought to be, are addressed adequately, but these do not hold development and vital life interests of people to ransom.

Yours truly,

S.Parthasarathy 

Create National Water Grid: store and make water available to all

Deccan Chronicle, Oct. 12, 2009

Avoid destruction: Expert for flood water storage

The floods ravaging the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka highlight the need for holding back the floodwater which otherwise slips into the sea, according to Dr Madhav Chitale, former secretary, Union ministry of water resources.

"What we see right now is a strange paradox. Mr Sharad Pawar, Union minister for agriculture, had declared last month that 246 districts in 10 states were drought affected. But Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are facing sudden floods and destruction. This could have been avoided had we developed a facility to store the floodwater," Dr Chitale told Deccan Chronicle.

Dr Chitale said that the Brahmaputra gets flooded from April itself. "We waste 5 lakh cubic feet per second water into the sea during normal floods. This increases by three fold during major floods," he read out from official data.

While the north Indian major rivers like Brahmaputra, Ganga, Mahanadi get flooded in the early part of the year, the Deccan rivers face severe shortage of water from March onwards.
"The plight of the Cauvery Delta farmers is horrendous. If there is no water in Cauvery, the Kuruvai crop of the delta suffers a setback throwing millions of farmers into major crisis. This happens even as large quantity of water is wasted into the sea," said Dr Chitale, who also served as secretary general of the prestigious international commission on irrigation and drainage.

He is of the view that those who oppose inter linking of rivers do so without understanding the details of the project. "It is unfair to make comments without justification," he said. Inter linking of rivers is devised as a win-win strategy for all stake holders, says Dr Chitale.

http://www.dc-epaper.com/DC/DCC/2009/10/12/ArticleHtmls/12_10_2009_005_006.shtml?Mode=0


How to get a National Water grid working 

Ancient Vedic Sarasvati in Gujarat (ISRO satellite images, Geospatial Today, April 2009)

A conference was held in India International Centre between Oct. 24 to 26, 2008 on Vedic River Sarasvati and Hindu civilization. The conference was sponsored by AIM for Seva and Sarasvati Research and Education Trust. 

It was a very purposeful conference. One aspect contained in the consensus conclusions and recommendations agreed by over 55 scholars, scientists and delegates (attached herewith) was the extension of Sarasvai mahanadi roopaa nahar (earlier called Rajasthan nahar) beyond Gedra Road in Barmer Dist. into Gujarat.  

Our Sarasvati river research team had discussed with Chief Engineer of the Nahar in Jaisalmer. They were told that another 150 kms. extension of the canal will bring the waters from Manasarovar glacier (from Mt. Kailas) into Gujarat and this can be done by a mutual understanding between Gujarat and Rajasthan Governments on sharing of Reborn Sarasvati waters taken from Harike reservoir in Punjab and Narmada waters. There is another part of the extension upto Sabarmati river near Ahmedabad when Sharada river waters will be added into this canal -- across an aqueduct over Yamuna -- as part of interlinking of rivers Perspective Plan by Ministry of Water Resources, Govt. of India.  

It will be a historic event when perennial glacier waters from punyasalilaa Sarasvati reach Gujarat. I am told that this can be achieved before the Swarnajayanti celebrations of Gujarat in 2010. If any clarifications are needed, we will deem it a privilege to provide the same. I look forward to the day when pilgrims from all over the nation will visit Ahmedabad to take a dip in the sacred Sarasvati river waters. I am sure that you will do the needful in making this happen as an impetus to create a National Water Grid in the country making every river a perennial river using the glacier waters and flood waters of rivers like Brahmaputra. With the National Water Grid, an additional 9 crore acres of irrigated land can be distributed to 9 crore families all over the nation bringing in abhyudayam and development of rural areas.
S. Kalyanaraman (8 June 2009)

Reborn Sarasvati for a national water grid (76 slides ppt)

(National watergrid 224 slides ppt)

Smart Water Grid initiative

Water Innovations Alliance Launches ‘Smart Water Grid’ Initiative; IBM to Chair Committee Focused On Developing Water IT Technologies

Posted : Wed, 27 May 2009 17:42:36 GMT

Author : Water Innovations Alliance

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - (Business Wire) Water Innovations Alliance, an industry association promoting accelerated adoption of water technologies, today announced that IBM joined the organization’s Foundation board. IBM will also serve as chair of a subcommittee working on technology platforms, standards and methodologies to enable improved water management decisions.

The Alliance launched its Water IT Subcommittee in New York City on May 18, 2009. The one-day event took place in collaboration with Livingston Securities LLC.

“Having IBM take a leadership role in this initiative will further our mission for creating a national smart water grid, and we are pleased to have their active participation,” said F. Mark Modzelewski, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Alliance. “It is vital that all the parties – both in the public and private sectors – come together to create and fund a water information technology initiative with common platforms, standards and nomenclature.”

“Demand for innovative water-related information technologies is growing rapidly,” said Peter Williams, CTO of IBM Big Green Innovations. “To achieve our goal of improving water management, we need to collaborate on sensing and monitoring infrastructures for water resources, a common system for measurement, evaluation and reporting, as well as common standards. If we come up with an effective IT management system that leverages the current infrastructure, filtration, and treatment technologies, we could realize significant annual water savings.”

Currently, 1.1 billion people lack access to a reliable water supply, and 2.6 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation. By 2025, over half the world’s population will live in water-stressed or water-scarce countries. One quarter of global freshwater use exceeds local long-term accessible supplies. Agricultural uses are the biggest concern, with an estimated 15 to 35 percent of irrigation withdrawals in excess of sustainable limits. Industrial withdrawals of water are expected to rise by 55 percent out to the year 2025. In addition, within the US, population has been migrating from the water-rich North to the water-depleted sunbelt. Moreover, crumbling infrastructure means that cities such as Chicago lose upwards of 60 percent of their water in transit from treatment facilities to faucets.

"Addressing water quality and management issues are of paramount importance to a sustainable planet," said oceanographer and Alliance advisor Fabian Cousteau. "Technological innovation is one of the vehicles that will help get us there."

The emerging water IT field is focused on aiding the delivery of water from suppliers to consumers using digital technology to improve decision making, save energy, reduce cost and increase reliability and safety. The goal of the field is to create a virtual water “grid” that cuts across all water supplies from natural ones such as rivers and aquifers, to municipal suppliers, to the impact of weather patterns.

Information about IBM’s global water and Big Green Innovations initiatives is available at: http://www-03.ibm.com/technology/greeninnovations/

"We were gratified by the quality of speakers and attendees who participated in our first annual Water Innovations Alliance Conference," noted Vincent Caprio, Chief Operating Officer of the Alliance. "Based on the success of our premiere, we plan to co-locate our second event with our NanoBusiness Conference in Chicago on September 10th, and will return to New York City for another spring conference on May 17, 2010."

About the Water Innovations Alliance

The Water Innovations Alliance is an industry association focused on developing new funding, reducing regulatory barriers, increasing collaboration and raising awareness for cutting-edge water technologies and the problems they solve. Its membership includes Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, economic development organizations, universities, NGOs and investment firms.

The Alliance serves the entire spectrum of the water sector: corporations, investors, engineering firms, start-ups, NGOs, research centers, municipalities, and others in the field. The Alliance is located in Washington, DC. It is a 501(c)(6) trade organization. More information is available at www.waterinnovations.org

The Water Innovations Foundation is focused on educating the public and key stakeholders as to new developments in fresh and waste water technologies. The Foundation works to gather data, develop reports, standards, economic analysis, and model training programs for advancing the development and deployment of new water technologies. The Foundation is located in Cambridge, MA. It is a 501(c)(3) organization.

Schwartz Public Relations
Steven Wright-Mark, 212-677-8700, x29
steven@schwartzpr.com

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/water-innovations-alliance-launches-lsquosmart,839294.shtml#

The challenge is to increase the area under Command Area of Irrigation from 90 m.ha. to 135 m. ha. to free areas from the vagaries and crop intensity limitations of rainfed agriculture.

Case for a fast-track National Water Grid

Dr. S. Kalyanaraman, Former Sr. Exec., Asian Development Bank (26 May 2009)

Power transfer and distribution by switching to demand centres is called a Power Grid.

Similarly, a National Water Grid can be created to distribute and make available water to the unreached.

Powerpoint presentation on National Water Grid for India.

The water Grid concept as a desirable national enterprise has found favour in UK which had the history of a Canals Age well before the Age of Industrial Revolution with UK criss-crossed with waterways initially designed as a cost-effective transport system.

Importance of the command area of irrigation development in India is demonstrated by the following figures:

Agricultural production increased from 65 m.tonnes in 1951 to 200 m.tonnes in 2001 due to the increase in the command area of irrigation from 22.6 m. hectares to 90 m. hectares during the same period of 50 years. India is endowed with rich alluvial soil and has the potential to quadruple the agricultural production by simply making available water for upto 4 crops per year and efficient soil health management.

In India, the interlinking of rivers at an estimated cost of Rs. 5 lakh crores has been mooted by National Water Development Agency of Ministry of  Water Resources.

In addition to the transfers of water from flood waters of Brahmaputra river during the flooding season, the National Water Grid should incorporate many other water supply schemes such as the following:

1.      Augmentation of groundwater resources by using the flood waters

2.      Promotion of afforestation plans in the uplands of the country to augment regularity of monsoons (one proposal is to create a contour canal along the Sahyadri ranges to reach water to the uplands of Maharashtra and Karnataka and preventing the wastage of water through rapid flows in west-flowing rivers during the monsoon season.

3.      Use of nuclear technology by use of mini-nuclear reactors carried on barges to desalinate seawater to m eet the drinking water needs of settlements along the long 7,500 km. coastline of the nation. Such a technology can also be used to desalinate entire saline rivers such as the Luni river of Rajasthan-Gujarat

4.      Declaration of water as a national asset and ensuring drinking water and irrigation supplies at highly subsidized rates

5.      Private-public sector partnership in educating the public about water conservation methods and to enforce regulations for maintaining levels of ground-water tables at sustainable levels

6.      Idenifying potential areas for multi-cropping and even upto 4 crops per year with assured 24X7 supply of irrigation water

7.      Use of solar pumps for harvesting groundwater and putting in place measures for rain-water harvesting

8.      Involving the Panchayati Raj institutions as implementing agencies of the National Water Grid

The interlinking of rivers component alone of the National Water Grid has the potential to create 9 crore acres of wet land with assured irrigation (according to the Min. of Water Resources). Thus, a potential can be created to distribute 9 crore acres of this wet land to 9 crore poor, landless families to initiate a veritable revolution in the village economy of the nation and truly empower the local self-government institutions of the Panchayati Raj by making these institutions stake-holders and share-holders of the National Water Grid Authority.  Experts opine that the interlinking project can be implemented in 5 years’ time.  http://nwda.gov.in/indexmain.asp?linkid=88&langid=1 Supreme Court is also seized of the national issue and in one instance observed as follows on a writ Petition 724/1994: “It is difficult to appreciate that in this country with all the resources available to it, there will be a further delay of 43 years for completion of the project to which no State has any objection and whose necessity and desirability is recognised and acknowledged by the Union of India.  The project will not only give relief to the drought prone areas but will also be an effective flood control measure and would be a form of water harvesting which is being rightly propagated by the Union of India and all the State.” http://nwda.gov.in/indexmain.asp?linkid=97&langid=1

A proposal to create a network of rivers and canals and formation of a national water grid was made in 1881, by Sir Arthur Cotton, who had constructed the Godavari anicut.

A good demonstration of the interlinking of rivers is the Sarasvati River project ongoing through Rajasthan Nahar Board. The reborn River Sarasvati now flows for over 1000 kms. utilizing the waters of Sutlej and Beas rivers from the Harike reservoir (created off Bhakra-Nangal and Pong dams) and waters have reached upto Gedra Road in Barmer District, Rajasthan.

Asian Water Development Outlook 2007 published by the Asian Development Bank underscores the importance of appropriate water governance to ensure water for all. http://www.adb.org/Water/Knowledge-Center/AWDO/default.asp The report highlights that :

·          water crisis in the future will not be caused by physical scarcity of water

·          energy, food, environment, are interacting development sectors

·          to avoid water stresses, research needs to be strengthened on issues related to climate change and water planning and management processes

·          limited access to water is a key determinant of poverty and uncontrolled deforestation

·          stable institutional frameworks and strong political will, are ingredients of successful water management practices in the region

National Water Grid can be put on fast-track to shield the nation from the impact of the global financial melt-down, by making it the centre-piece of a stimulus package for the infrastructure development in the nation.

This National Water Grid will generate employment for crores of youth. A National Water Grid Authority (NWGA) on the lines of the Konkan Railway Authority can be created to implement the Grid.

Regional aspirations can be met by organizing the NWGA in four zones, NWGA East, West, North and South and managed by competent management experts – a management technique successfully employed for projects such as the Delhi Metro Rail.


Annexes

National water grid is back on the agenda

7 May 2009 | By John McKenna

Measures included in the draft Flood & Water Management Bill will renew calls for a national water grid for the UK, it was claimed this week.

The bill, published for consultation last month, proposes regulations which will allow the creation of companies to deliver large infrastructure schemes.    

Morrison Utility Services chief executive Charles Morrison said the prospect of raising much larger levels of finance than currently is possible in the water sector could finally make the idea of a national water transfer scheme a reality. “Logic dictates that [a national water grid] is a good idea,” said Morrison.    

“There is lots of rainfall in the north of the UK but there are parts of southern England that are technically desert. From an engineering point of view creating a water grid is not rocket science. It is the funding that is key.”    

http://www.nce.co.uk/news/water/national-water-grid-is-back-on-the-agenda/5201550.article

Draft Floods and Water Bill opens door for water grid

29 April, 2009 | By John McKenna

Measures included in the draft Flood and Water Management Bill will boost the case for a national water grid for the UK, it was claimed this week.

The Bill, published for consultation last week, proposes to make it possible for water companies to form consortiums which can deliver water mega-projects. It notes that “since privatisation, the significant majority investment projects have been relatively small scale.”

Shareholders in these consortiums would most likely comprise water companies and private investors.

Morrison Utility Services chief executive Charles Morrison said the prospect of raising much larger levels of finance than currently is possible in the water sector could make the idea of a national water transfer scheme a reality.

“Logic dictates that [a national water grid] is a good idea,” said Morrison.

“There is lots of rainfall in the north of the UK but there are parts of southern England that are technically desert. From an engineering point of view creating a water grid is not rocket science. It is the funding that is key.”

The concept of a national water grid was last seriously debated in 2006, when an Environment Agency study rejected the idea on cost grounds.

It estimated that to build a national water grid which could include five pipelines carrying 1,100M litres a day over 560km would cost £15bn. This, claimed the study, would be four times more expensive than building new reservoirs to provide similar levels of water supplies.

http://www.nce.co.uk/draft-floods-and-water-bill-opens-door-for-water-grid/5201257.article

 

National water grid — A hundred-year-old plan

Ch. Prashanth Reddy

16 July 2003 (The Hindu)

MUCH is being talked and written about inter-linking of rivers. While there is a vague recognition that this is not a new idea, few politicians, engineers or members o the public know that the concept dates back at least 120 years.

According to Dr Gautam Pingle, Chairman, Public Policy Area, Administrative Staff College of India, the proposal to create a network of rivers and canals was made in meticulous detail way back in 1881, by Sir Arthur Cotton, that extraordinary engineer-economist who formulated a comprehensive sub-continental plan for the formation of a national water grid.

Dr Pingle says that Sir Arthur's scheme was elaborate and, needless to say, did not involve pumping of any description though locks for navigation were envisaged. The plan involved navigation and irrigation, storage as well as river training. His list of potential projects was exhaustive and the costing was also given (see infographic).

Dr Pingle stated that all this was put together by Sir Arthur in 1881, and the total cost estimated, with 20 per cent pre-operative costs, at 50 million pounds sterling, or the then equivalent of Rs 50 crore.

While some of the projects were subsequently taken up, many people are unaware that Sir Arthur first identified them. Many of the older engineers in South India are aware of his work and writings.

The concept of inter-basin transfers, of navigation along the coasts and across the peninsula are uniquely Sir Arthur's and to him must go the full credit of drawing up a master plan for India a hundred years before the idea resurfaced. Sir Arthur had also stated that four main canal lines needed to be established. They were: "From Calcutta to Kurrachee — up the valley of the Ganges, across the watershed of the Jumna and the Sutlej, down the valley of the Indus to Kurrachee. The worst part is already cut, the Srihind canal, across from the Sutlej to the Jumna, by the line of the Godavari, and the Tapti from Cocanada to Surat, up the valley of the Tungabhadra and the valley of the Kala Naddee, crossing the watershed near Darwar which is the worst one, at two thousand feet, reaching the sea at Karwar and by Palghat, a breach south of the Neilgherries, up the valley of the Ponany and down the valley of Amravatty, crossing the watershed near Coimbatore, on a level of about one thousand four hundred feet."

Speaking about Madras Presidency, his vision was clear: "As respects water transit, the whole presidency is perfectly capable of first-class water transit on all the important lines, and this almost everywhere, in combination with irrigation."

Yet his vision was not restricted to the Presidency he served so well: "The Coast canal from Bengal, by Cape Comorin to Karwar on the Western Coast, is all perfectly practicable at quite an insignificant cost. The main lines across the Peninsula from Madras through the heart of the Camatic to Ponany, and from the same city by Nellore through the Ceded District to Karwar and that up the Godavari and Warda, and by the line of the Tapti to Surat, are also all perfectly practicable at small cost compared to their effect."

He further stated that: "From these, thousands of miles of branch canals may be led so as to fully open this populous country. Further a contour line may be led from the Cauveri near Seringapatnam, through Mysore, the ceded districts, and Hyderabad, to the Godavari, in the heart of the upper country, thus putting the whole of the interior, by means of the east and west canals and rivers and the coast canals, in effective communication with the ports of both coasts, and with Calcutta and the plains of the Ganges and the Punjab. The conveyance of one ton from Lahore to Karwar, three thousand miles, would thus, at one-twentieth of a penny per ton per mile, cost about Rs 6 — about ten per cent of the value of grain."

K. L. Rao, in India's Water Wealth, stated that the navigation plan proposed by Sir Arthur Cotton "showed his remarkable mastery of the river systems of India. Needless to say, had such a plan been implemented in the last century, transport in India would have presented no problem".

Sir Arthur's plan also took into account irrigation of a vast extent of land and was not restricted to navigation alone. He realised that the two were complementary and need not, and should not, be separated.

Nearly a hundred years later, the UNDP mission on National Water Grid 1971-72 felt that "India's national economy in its development and growth will be confronted with the problem of increasing scarcity of water within the next thirty years. From basic compilation of future water demand and water yields it becomes evident that by the year 2000 or so, the National Water Grid will be a vital necessity".

Now, Dr Pingle feels that with the extensive current political interest in the national water grid — an interest that was lacking both in the 19th and 20th centuries — the twenty-first century may see Sir Arthur's plans being realised.

Sir Arthur Cotton died on July 14, 1899 at Dorking, Surrey, at the age of 97. But he is remembered quietly every morning by millions of farmers and ordinary people in the Godavari and Krishna deltas.

The Andhra Pradesh Government has installed his statue on the Tank Bund in Hyderabad along with the other heroes of Andhra.

He is perhaps the only Englishman whose statue was installed in India after Independence.

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2003/07/16/stories/2003071601980900.htm

 

 

Supreme Court observations

We are distressed to note that milestone for the perspective plan indicated in the report of the Agency shows that even though the Pre-Feasibility Reports regarding the Peninsular & Himalayan projects are already completed, the completion of the link projects ultimately will be by the year 2035 in respect of Peninsular Link Project and 2043 regarding Himalayan Link Project.

It is difficult to appreciate that in this country with all the resources available to it, there will be a further delay of 43 years for completion of the project to which no State has any objection and whose necessity and desirability is recognised and acknowledged by the Union of India.  The project will not only give relief to the drought prone areas but will also be an effective flood control measure and would be a form of water harvesting which is being rightly propagated by the Union of India and all the State.

Learned Attorney General states that a more realistic view will be taken and a revised programme on completion would be drawn up and be presented to the Court.  We do expect that the programme when drawn up would try and ensure that the link projects are completed within a reasonable time of not more than ten years.  We say so because recently the National Highways Projects have been undertaken and the same is nearing completion and the inter-linking of the rivers is complimentary to the state highway and the water ways which are constructed will be of immense benefit to the country as a whole.

The report of the National Water Development Agency refers to negotiations and signing of agreements.  This aspect is also adverted to by the Union of India in its affidavit when it mentioned that consent of all the States affected by the Inter-linking of the rivers has to be obtained.  Learned Attorney General would like to consider this aspect as it is contended by Mr. Ranjit Kumar that if a legislation under Entry 56 list I of the Constitution is made, the need for the consent would not arise and the Centre would be in a position to undertake the project and complete the same within a reasonable period of time.

It is not open to this Court to issue any direction to the Parliament to legislate but the Attorney General submits that the Government will consider this aspect and, if so advised, will bring an appropriate legislation.

Mr. Ranjit Kumar, learned amicus has drawn our attention to River Board Act, 1956 which has been enacted by the Parliament.  Learned Attorney General would look into this in order to examine whether any further piece of legislation is necessary for bringing about the inter-linking of the rivers.

The parties are at liberty to file in Court any reports or papers containing studies in respect of the said project. To come up for further orders on 16th December, 2002.

Upon hearing counsel on 16th December, 2002 the Court made the following order:

Learned  Attorney General has brought to our  notice  resolution  dated 13.12.2002 passed by Ministry of  Water Resources,  Government of India, inter alia, stating that National Water Development Agency has, after carrying out detailed  studies  and investigations for preparation  of feasibility  reports  identified  30 links  and  prepared feasibility  reports of six such links.  It also notices that  various basin States have expressed divergent views about the studies and feasibility reports prepared by the said  Agency and with a view to bringing out a consensus among  the  States  and  provide  guidance  on  norms  of appraisal  of  individual  projects  and  modalities  for project funding etc.  the Central Government has set up a Task  Force details whereof are given in paras 3 & 4  of the  resolution.  Para 5 sets out the terms of reference of the said Task Force and para 8 sets out the time table for achieving the goal of inter-linking of rivers by the end of 2016.  Mr.Ranjit Kumar, learned amicus curiae, prays for a short   adjournment for filing response        thereto.  List on 20th January, 2003.

Upon hearing counsel on 20th January, 2003  Court made the following order:

It would be expedient if the matter is adjourned by about three months so that the Court is in a position to know as to what progress has been made in the matter.   List the matter in the Ist weeks of May, 2003.

Upon hearing the case on 5th May, 2003, the Hon’ble Supreme Court made the following order:

Pursuant  to  order  dated 20th  Janury,  2003,  an   affidavit  dated  5th May, 2003 has been filed  by  Mr.BP Pandey, Deputy Commissioner, Ministry of Water Resources,      Government  of  India,  annexing thereto  the  resolution  dated  13.12.2002  constituting a Task Force, time  table   for  interlinking of rivers, other resolutions nominating  part time and full time members of the Task Force and few    other documents.  It seems that in last about four months   three  meetings  of  Task  Force have been  held  on  6th   January, 2003, 27th March, 2003 and 28th April, 2003.  In  the  last meeting the first Action Plan as per Government  Resolution was considered and adopted.  Now as per Action   Plan-I  the schedule for impelementation is 10 years from    the  start.  It stipulates that the work on the links can   be started from 2007.  It is envisaged to be completed by   say  end of 2016.  Further it envisages that the group of  Task  Force  of interlinking rivers will examine the  two schedules  and is expected to arrive at a reasonable  and   predicable   implementation  schedule  in due course.  According  to Action Plan -I the said Task Force has laid  emphasis  on  demonstrative value of starting work  on  a  link  or  two,  as  soon as  possible.   The  process  of  preparation of Detailed Project Report for an inter basin    link  need  to cover also, Detailed Environmental  Impact   Assessment,  Environmental  Management Plan and R&R  Plan   for  project affection persons.  We find no substance  in    the  apprehension that the Task Force will not  implement    the  law.   We have also no doubt that in case the  other    experts in the field provide necessary inputs to the Task Force,  it  will  give  it  due  consideration  the  same  deserves.  For  the present, we would direct posting  of   the matter after six months.

Upon hearing the case on 10th Nov, 2003, the Hon’ble Supreme Court made the following order:

Union of India is directed to file an affidavit placing on record up-to-date progress in the matter within a period of six weeks.  List the matters thereafter.

Upon hearing the case on 6th Jan, 2004, the Hon’ble Supreme Court made the following order:
 
The Task Force of Interlinking of Rivers has filed a Progress Report which deals with various aspects.  It, inter alia, mentions that Interlinking of Rivers have two major components i.e. Himalayan Component (14 links) and Peninsular component (16 links) It further mentions that the former component i.e. Himalayan links requires an understanding with neighbouring countries like Bhutan and Nepal.  We hope that steps are being taken to have requisite discussions with the said countries.  Regarding Peninsular link, the progress report records that in respect of two links - (1) Ken - Betwa link (U.P. and M.P.) and (2)Parbati - Kalisindh - Chambal link (M.P. and Rajasthan), quick implementation is feasible in respect of the first link.   In respect of the first link, feasibility Report is stated to be complete and Central Water Commission has been asked to initiate steps for preparation of Detailed Project Report.  It is, however, not indicated as to when the said DPR is likely to be prepared.  In respect of second, the Report notes that National Water Development Agency has been directed to take necessary steps to prepare Feasibility Report by March, 2004 so as to take action for preparation of DPR thereafter.  It is stated by learned counsel appearing for Union of India that in respect of these two links the State of Madhya Pradesh and State of Rajasthan have given their consent and the discussions with State of Uttar Pradesh are at advance stage and the Feasibility Report shall be prepared once the consent is received from the State of Uttar Pradesh.  Further Progress Report may be filed by Union of India by 23rd April, 2004 and the matter shall be listed in the last week of April, 2004.

 Upon hearing the case on 26th April, 2004, the Hon’ble Supreme Court made the following order:

Pursuant to the order dated 6th January, 2004, an affidavit by Joint Commissioner (Basin Management), Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India, dated 23rd April, 2004, has been filed.  We have perused the said affidavit which details the progress in the matter of interlinking of rivers.  Dealing with the follow up action on signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and between Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the affidavit states that the Government of Madhya Pradesh has communicated its consent to sign the MOU while the matter is under discussion with the Governments of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and efforts are being made to sort out the differences.  With regard to the follow up action by Central Water Commission and National water Development Agency, it has been stated that the detailed project report for Ken-Betwa link is proposed be completed by Central Water Commission in thirty months.  Our attention was drawn to the time table for interlinking of rivers already filed, according to which, for completion of detailed project reports, the time stipulated was 31st December, 2006.  The feasibility report of Parbati-Kalisindh-Chambal link is stated to have been completed in March, 2004. 

In respect of putting the feasibility report on website, an affidavit be filed along with the next progress report. Prima facie we cannot contemplate any reason for the feasibility report not putting on website.  In the affidavit to be filed, the aspect of central legislation, as noticed in this Court's order dated 31st October, 2002, be also indicated.

Further progress report and the affidavit shall be filed within four months.
List after four months”.

Upon hearing the case on 30th August, 2004, the Hon’ble Supreme Court made the following order:

We have perused the affidavit of Mr. M.S. Gupta, Senior Joint Commissioner (Basin Division), Ministry of Water Resources; Government of India dated 24th August, 2004 along with which progress report in the matter of interlinking of rivers has been filed. The progress report being not very clear on our query, learned Solicitor General states that the Government has taken,  in principal, decision to continue with interlinking of rivers. The matter, after comprehensive review is likely to be placed before the Cabinet after about six weeks. The report of the Standing Committee on Water Resources has been taken on record. Our attention has also been drawn by Mr. Ranjit Kumar, Amicus Curiae to the Report of the Standing Committee on Water Resources 2004-2005 inter alia stating that the committee desires that the Government to make earnest efforts to get going the interlinking of the Northern and Southern rivers under ILR Programme in a definite time schedule which, in their considered view, would save the nation from the devastating ravages of chronic droughts and floods. Be that as it may, as prayed by learned Solicitor General, we defer the matter by eight weeks. The up-to-date progress report be filed within eight weeks and the matter be listed thereafter.

 Upon hearing the case on 1st November, 2004, the Hon’ble Supreme Court made the following order:

Pursuant to orders dated 30th  August,  2004,  a progress report in  the matter of  "Interlinking  of Rivers" has been filed in the form of an annexure (Annexure R-9) to the affidavit   of Shri  M.S.   Gupta, Senior Joint   Commissioner (Basin   Management), Ministry       of   Water   Resources. Learned   Solicitor   General   has   also brought   to   our   notice   the presentation   on   the   aspect   of   interlinking   of   rivers   which   was   made   by   the   Ministry   of  Water   Resources   in   a   high   powered   meeting,   comprising   of   the   Prime   Minister,   Union Minister   of   Finance,   Deputy   Chairman,   Planning   Commission,   Member,   Planning  Commission,   and   Member   Secretary   to   the   Prime   Minister   amongst   others. That presentation   was   made   on   11th   October,   2004. With   reference   to   the   project   reports pertaining   to link   between   Ken-Betwa   which   has   a   length   of   231   Kms.   and   the   link      between   Parbati-Kalisindh-Chambal   with   a   length   of   243   Kms.,   in   the   first   link   there  being  two States (U.P. & M.P.) and  in the second  link again  there being  two States (M.P. & Rajasthan),  it has been, inter alia, stated that the consensus group    has been asked to       intensify its efforts with a view to resolve technical issues with the State Governments and  submit   its   report   by  November,  2004.    The  presentation,   however,  stipulates    that     after the receipt  of  the report  that may be submitted by November, 2004, the Secretary (Water Resources) will hold discussions with concerned   State   Governments   followed   by   political   level   meetings   to   reach   an understanding   so   that  preparation   of  Detailed  Project Reports  (DPRs)   can  start.     It has also   been   stipulated   that   other apprehensions   of   States   will   be   addressed   at DPR   stage. The presentation has priortised the different project components for preparation of DPRs and implementation.

 In regard to involvement of environmentalists and others, this Court in its order dated   5th   May,   2003   had   directed   that   the   process   of preparation   of   DPRs   for an   inter basin link needs to cover also a detailed environmental impact assessment, environmental management   plan   and   R&R   plan   for   project   affected   persons.       An   apprehension   was expressed   at   that   stage   that   the   matters   of   environment   may   be   over   looked   in   the implementation of this project.   This Court found no substance in the apprehension that the Task Force would not implement the law.  It was observed that in case other experts in the   field   provide   necessary   inputs,   that   would   be   given   due   consideration   it   deserves. Now,   a   perusal   of   the   present   report   shows   that   it   has   been   specifically   noticed   that   a group   of   environmentalists,   social   activists   and   other   experts   will   be   constituted   by   the Ministry   of   Water   Resources   which   will   be   involved   in   the   consultative   process   for   the project. In the order dated 26th April, 2004, we had observed that, prima facie, it is not possible to contemplate any reason for the feasibility report not being put on website.   In the   Status   Report,   it   has   been   mentioned   that   the   Chiarman,   Governing   Body,   NWDA and   Secretary   (Water   Resources)   has   directed   NWDA   on   13th   October,   2004   to   take further action for putting the feasibility report   on   Ken-Betwa   Link   on   website.  For   further   consideration   the   matter   shall   be placed before the Court in the last week of January or first week of February, 2005.

Upon hearing the case on 4th Feb, 2005, the Hon’ble Supreme Court made the following order:

The learned counsel for the Union of India prays for four weeks' time to file the status report. Prayer is allowed and the writ petitions are adjourned.

UPON hearing counsel the Court made the following  ORDER on 8th April 2005:

We   have   perused   the   status   report   filed   in   the   form   of   an affidavit   of   Shri   M.S.   Gupta, Senior   Joint   Commissioner   (Basin Management), Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India.

In so far  as   Ken-Betwa   link   is   concerned,   though   the   affidavit and   the   documents accompanying   it   state   that   the   Principal Secretary,  Government   of   Uttar   Pradesh,   would   inform   the   decision   of   the Government   by   the   end   of   January,   2005,   we   are   told   by   the   learned Solicitor General that the Government of Uttar Pradesh has conveyed its consent, subject to certain conditions, in  particular the condition of funding.   The cost of preparation of the Detailed Project Report [for short,   "D.P.R."]   is   proposed   to   be   done   from   Central   funding amounting to Rupees thirty crores.   We take note of the fact that now a Memorandum  of   Understanding  is   required   to   be   signed   between  the Government of Uttar Pradesh and the Central Government.

 In so far as  Parbati-Kalisindh-Chambal  link  is  concerned,  the consensus   group headed by the Chairman, Central Water Commission, held its meeting on 2nd  November, 2004, and discussed the issues raised by   the   Governments   of   Rajasthan   and   Madhya   Pradesh   regarding Parbati-Kalisindh-Chambal  link.  The group submitted its report to the Ministry.   The   Governments   of   Rajasthan  and   Madhya  Pradesh   were asked   to   give   concurrence   for   signing   the   Memorandum   of Understanding   so   that   the   work   for   preparation   of   D.P.R.   could commence.  It seems that certain issues are still to be sorted out with the State of Rajasthan even after the inter-State meeting of Chief Secretaries held on 11th January, 2005.  We hope that the issues would be sorted out without the intervention of the Court.

It   further  appears  that  the  feasibility  reports  of   three  other links   in   Peninsular   component,   namely   Par-Tapi   Narmada   Link, Godavari  (Polavaram)-  Krishna  (Vijayawada)  link  and   Daman  Ganga-Pinjal   link,   have   been   taken   up   for   initiating   action   for   consensus building.

Annexure   R-4   to   the   affidavit   shows   that   the   feasibility reports in respect of fourteen Peninsular component and two Himalyan components   have   been  completed.     Mr.   Prashant   Bhushan, learned counsel, submits   that  despite the   orders   of   this   Court, only   one feasibility report has been put on the   website.  The order   of the Court is clear and we direct its compliance in letter and spirit so that the feasibility reports shall be   put   up   on  the   website   soon   after  its   completion.     One of   the objects sought to be achieved is that the concerned environmentalists and others can put forth their view-point which can be considered. The   view-point   can   be   placed   before   the   Committee   of Environmentalists, social   scientists   and   other   experts   on   inter-linking which   has   been   constituted   by   the   Government   in   terms   of   Office Memorandum dated 28th December, 2004.   We feel that the Group shall also intimate and invite Mr. Ranjit Kumar, learned Amicus Curaie, by giving sufficient notice of   the meeting.     The concerned persons, above noted, can also bring their view-point before Mr. Ranjit Kumar as well.


 The  Office  Memorandum  dated   29th  December,  2004   shows that the task force on inter-linking of rivers, having submitted its report, has been wound up  with effect from  31st  December, 2004  and  a special cell is constituted to look after the residuary work of the task force and for   taking   follow   up   action   on   the inter-linking   of   river  programmes under  the   Ministry  of   Water  Resources.  That special  cell  was   earlier headed  by  a  Joint  Secretary  but  now  in  terms  of  Office  Memorandum dated 15th February,2005, it has  been directed to be   headed  by the Commissioner (Project) in the said Ministry.

 It   may   also   be   noted   that   the   terms   of   reference of the Environmentalists Committee, above noted, seem   to   be   quite comprehensive   and   that   is   the   reason   we   have   directed   that   all concerned may place  their  view-point  before  the  said  Committee.    The next status report be filed within three months. 

UPON hearing counsel the Court made the following Order on 8th Aug, 2005:

 

 

Contempt Petition (C) No.163 of 2005:

 

The   grievance   made   in   this   petition   is   that,   despite   repeated orders of this Court, the respondents have not put the feasibility reports on website, except the feasibility report in respect of Ken-Betwa Link project.  The orders that have been passed by this Court for putting the feasibility reports on website are dated 26th April, 2004, 1st November,  2004   and  8th  April,  2005.     The advantage   of   putting   the   said reports   on   website   has   also   been   indicated   in   the   order   dated   8th April, 2005.    With reference  to  the  orders earlier passed,  it  was directed  on 8th April, 2005,  that  feasibility reports shall be  put  on website  soon after its completion. Pursuant to the order dated 8th April, 2005, Mr.  K.  Vohra, Senior   Joint   Commissioner   (Basin   Management),   Ministry   of   Water Resources, has filed a status report in the form of an affidavit in respect of some   of   the   links.    It   is   stated   that   the   Government   of   Gujarat   has   not agreed  to put  feasibility  report on the  website  and the  response  of other concerned   State,   namely,   Maharashtra,  is   awaited.     This   is   in   respect   of Par-Tapi Narmada and Damanganga-Pinjal links.   We fail to understand, where   was   the   necessity   for   the   Government   of   India   to   ask   any   other authority or State Government for its agreement for placing the feasibility reports on website when specific orders have been passed by this Court.  If Government of India or any State had any difficulty in implementing the direction of placing the feasibility reports on website, it was open to them to approach this Court and seek further directions.   Nothing of the kind has been done by any of the parties or the Government.

 

Mr. Goolam E. Vahanvati, learned Solicitor General, states that it   appears   that   the   feasibility   report   of   Parbati   Kalisindh-Chambal   link project has also been put on website recently.   At present, though we are not inclined  to take any action  as sought  for in this contempt  petition  in view of the submission of the learned Solicitor General that there was some confusion in the mind of some officers in   respect   of   the   direction   made   for   putting   the   feasibility   reports   on website,   we   direct   that   all   such   feasibility   reports,   which   are   ready   and complete,   shall   be   put   on   website   without   reference   to   any   person   or authority   and   without   any   further   delay.     This would   dispose   of   the contempt petition.

 

In   respect   of   Parbati   Kalisindh-Chambal   link,   the affidavit shows that the matter has already been discussed at the level of Consensus Building Group.  It is pointed out that the Chief Ministers of the States of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are expected to meet shortly and discuss various issues.  In respect of Ken-Betwa link, from the affidavit, it appears that though the Government of Madhya Pradesh has given its consent, the Government of Uttar Pradesh has not even responded.   Reference in this affidavit has been made to the letter written on 19th May, 2005.  It is stated that   the   response   from   the   State   of   Uttar   Pradesh   is   still   awaited.     The learned counsel for the State of Uttar Pradesh is present but without any instructions.     We direct   the   State   of   Uttar   Pradesh   to   cooperate   in   the matter.  For the present, we say no more.  Further, it has been brought to our notice by the learned Solicitor General that papers for convening the meeting of the Committee of Environmentalists, Social Scientists and other experts   have   been   processed   and   it   is   expected   that   a   date   for   the   said meeting will be fixed shortly of which sufficient notice would be given to Mr. Ranjit Kumar, learned Amicus Curiae.

 

In   respect   of   Godavari   (Polavaram)-Krishna   (Vijayawada) Link, Damanganga-Pinjal Link and Par-Tapi Narmada Link, it has been stated in the affidavit that sixth meeting of `Consensus Group' was held on 13th May, 2005,  representatives  of  various states   and   officers   from   the   Central   Water   Commission   and   National Water Development  Agency  participated  and certain  points  were placed, which have been  indicated  in the  affidavit.   A meeting of that Consensus Group is stated to be now fixed for 23rd August, 2005.

 

In view of the aforesaid, we direct that the matter shall be listed again in the month of November, 2005, and status report be filed within three months from today.

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