Bengaluru: After winning with a thumping majority the NDA government wants to expedite the river linking project. However, the project has been a subject of intense debate among the environmentalists, citizens and farmers.
Telangana wanted the Mahanadi-Godavari basin link up to be taken up before the linking of Godavari and Cauvery so that Sitaram lift irrigation project is not affected. It also stressed that the state needs 1,500 TMC feet water and after receiving the quantum water from Godavari can be diverted.
The environmentalists claim the ramifications of the project will only lead to colossal environmental damage.
The government says the surplus in the Godavari is 1,100 TMC that is drained in the sea. However, researchers debunk this premise. They say even if the surplus exists today, there is no guarantee about it remaining the same down the line.
“Godavari is a water stressed area. The drought in Marathwada region is deepening and there is acute water shortage. There is already a conflict between upper and lower Godavari on the issue of water sharing. A discussion should be held before the project is initiated,” said K.J. John, an activist and researcher.
“Bio-diversity will be affected. Every water body has its own uniqueness,” John added.
“The design is such that they want to build a dam at the mouth of the delta inside the sea to stop the water from going into the rivers. It is foolhardy in the context of global warming and climate change. There has to be an eco-system approach based on the rainfall,” said Kshitij Urs, faculty of National Law School of India University.