Delayed Advice of Dr Kalam, Ex. President of India on Bihar Floods
Delayed Advice of Kalam on Bihar Floods & Sustained Wild Ideas
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam,
Ex. President of India,
New Delhi 110011
Obviously I as professional inventor & engineer am anguished by your sustained WILD ideas planted in your mind by Ramalinga kind of dubious people. Building storage dams in Nepal and Kashmir that would benefit India, Nepal, Pakistan & Bangladesh in controlling floods, generating power, augment irrigation, improving agriculture and also control arsenic poisoning has not crossed your fluid mind.
There is a mindset problem – as a scientist you may blast any number of rockets in to sea for some decade - there is very little GOI can do than to buy Russian rockets to do the needful but as an engineer I was always expected to perform at 100% efficiency and capability from day one or instantly every time I took up a new assignment. For example when Morarjee Desai suddenly decided to visit a residential complex not supplied a drop of water for seven days, within 30 minutes of taking over the assignment I was providing 72 KL of water an hour against daily requirement of 300 KL to 600 KL. When Morarjee Desai visited the site 40 hours later there was no trace of any dry condition.
I as an inventor & engineer think a state producing 5 million tones of rice need 10 BCM of canal waters balance to come from ground would plan to meet the requirements, you as ex. Rocket Scientist imagine any amount out of 1100 BCM water in our rivers could fly to any place you may wish under your remote control operating from your Rajaji Marg office. Even a vegetable street vendor has precise idea of the vegetables required by his clients and obviously all companies – even Microsoft formulate business plan to develop & market a product.
You must come up with a concrete plan, how much is the current water requirements, how much is demand and supply, and how much is the cost of providing additional supply required.
But when your comments about Bihar Floods come on October01, 2008 when monsoon is over, breached embankment on Kosi couldn't be plugged since August18, 2008 even at the time of writing this letter, it confirms you are not serious about floods and draughts but only promoting certain Ramalinga kind of dubious people. You know Times Environment Hero Baba Seechewal plugged SatlejRiver breach in two days without any government support- it expected from you to engage his service in plugging Kosi Breach. You brain cells don't work when there are floods and rains but strangely come alive after rains are over. You also didn't care to visit Bundelkund Region when under severe draught conditions.
Water Balance; Though as president most data about water resources presented by you was accurate but since CWC officers are no longer subordinate to you, you have presented hotch potch figures at NAWAD.
Annual precipitation in India is 4000 BCM and annual flows in rivers are 1869 BCM including international rivers Brahamputra & Ganga therefore only around 1100 BCM is considered entitlement of India.
But in most high flood events annual rains fall in just 3-7 days and there is no way to stop this water, people in flood zone pray for floods to pass and government agencies open flood gates of all dams and barrages on way to river flows. This leaves 690 BCM waters that can be economically utilized. Out of this 420 BCM water is currently diverted in to canals for all uses.
Ground water recharge is 433 BCM and net ground water availability is 399 BCM but only 231 BCM is currently extracted. Source CGWB Report 2004.
Poor Understanding of HomeState Tamil Nadu
Established legal convention worldwide is quoted in Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal and you are seriously challenging the globally established practices.
üBasin areas are more dependent on the water than other areas. Maximum economic benefit can rarely be achieved by ignoring the pressing needs of the
areas of origin and permitting development elsewhere.
üKrishnaBasin: The demands for the pressing needs of irrigation alone are so large that they cannot be wholly satisfied from the river supplies.
üThe total yield in the Cauvery basin has been estimated to be about 740 TMC. The C.F.F.C. estimated that by 1972 the demand of water for irrigation and other purposes works to about 1260 TMC by the riparian States, especially, the States of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
On going through the following "Quotes" from CWDT award Volume V Chapter 2 you will find your River Linking idea VIOLATE all established International Conventions on use of basin waters. Page 48 of CWDT
3. The Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal has considered the question
of diversion of the Krishna Water outside the Krishna basin,
in detail in Chapter XIII of the Report. From a reference to page
128 (page 88 of the TN Compilation No. 11,) it shall appear
that the Tribunal observed:
"The preponderance of opinion seems to indicate that diversion of
water to another watershed may be permitted, but normally, in the
absence of any agreement, the prudent course may be to limit the
diversion to the surplus waters left after liberally allowing for the
pressing needs of basin areas. In general, basin areas are more
dependent on the water than other areas. Maximum economic
benefit can rarely be achieved by ignoring the pressing needs of the
areas of origin and permitting development elsewhere."
The available river supplies in the Krishna basin are insufficient to
satisfy the demands of all the existing uses and the projected
additional uses as well. The river Krishna commands extensive
irrigation potential along the natural course of the river. The
demands for the pressing needs of irrigation alone are so large that
they cannot be wholly satisfied from the river supplies. Until
irrigation from the new projects is fully developed, it may be possible
to allow westward diversion of some additional water for purposes of power production. But upon full development of such irrigation, it
will be impossible to satisfy the demands of the irrigation projects as
well as the additional demands for the westward diversion schemes.
There is a clear conflict of interest between claims of downstream
irrigation and power development by westward diversion of water.
The question is whether; - in allocating the waters of the river
Krishna, the claims of power production by westward diversion of
water should be allowed at the expense of irrigation."
How can President of India in service and after service Preach Violation of established practices? It is "Wild Imagination" of you to propose Brahamputra – Cauvery Link and equally wild other ideas.
Chapter 3 Para 2 "The total yield in the Cauvery basin has been
estimated to be about 740 TMC. The C.F.F.C. estimated that by 1972
the demand of water for irrigation and other purposes works
to about 1260 TMC by the riparian States, especially,
the States of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala."
When demand in Cauvery basin is 1260 TMC but availability only 740 TMC I think it was WILD imagination to propose TN waterways project that cut across all large, medium and minor rivers.
Most Lunatic Observations
"let us discuss how we can harness the flood water during flood" Kalam.
Since floods duration is usually 3-7 days in India it means "Utlization Factor" of your project shall be 1% or 2% and even in this short 3-7 days water may not be required by the beneficiary also getting good rains at that time or breach at peak floods may cripple the project in those short critical days. Entire investment shall go waste.
You have misled people with your comments "Kollidam proved very effective, discharging 3.23 lakhs cusecs during the 2005 flood. Since the width is 1km and runs for 160 km. It acted as reservoir." Water flowed for just two days in 40-50 years
In the calculation by people of the water-starved (for cultivation) composite Thanjavur district, thanks to the Cauvery issue, 21 tmc of water has drained into the sea. Water released into the Kollidam could have been utilised for 21 days of irrigation at one tmc a day. "Why can't we find ways of saving water"? But irrigation experts say there is no way of saving such a surplus in an alarming situation, which occurs once in 40 or 50 years.
It was absolute lie to SAY 400 TMC water went in to sea in 2005 when actual figure was only 21 TMC. This happened in exceptionally high rains and best way to avoid overflows of Mettur Dam is to add storage capacity upstream of Mettur Dam in Karnattaka and make additional water available during dry spell.
IR36 matures rapidly – 105 days compared to 130 days for IR8 and 150-170 days for traditional types – and produces the slender grain preferred in many countries. The combination of these characteristics soon made IR36 one of the most widely planted food crop varieties worldwide in just a few years. About 110,000 km² were planted with IR36 worldwide in the 1980s---.
Do you know that under Scoundrels like MS Swaminathan India approved IR36 in 1981, a year after its worldwide success though India has largest area under rice?
MS SwaminathanCongenital Liar –
Para 14"He has mentioned that the rice yield in the
Cauvery delta and Tamil Nadu as a whole is quite high compared to
All India average yield of rice crop. According to him,
the State of Tamil Nadu compares well with the State of
Punjab in the rice yield."
It will shock you to discover "He unashamedly lied before a Judicial Commission"
üRice yield in Punjab is three times of Cauvery Basin of TN, 4-5 of Nagapattinam.
üOnly about 150 TMC (4-5 maf) water is provided to rice crop in Punjab due to limited capacity of canals in 4-5 months of rice growing season but produces 10 million tones of rice compared to 5.2 million tones of rice in TN in 2005 surplus water year drawing over 450 TMC of Cauvery water, CWDT has awarded 419 TMC to TN in a normal year. Assuming Tanks and lakes contributed 50 TMC of water to rice crop in 2005 so surface water use for rice crop was 500 TMC.
Water Required in Produce a Tonne of Rice –
Punjab -- 15 TMC,
Tamil Nadu --100 TMC,
Cauvery Districts – 500 TMC
Para 32 "(iii) Tamil Nadu:
In Tamil Nadu, the Cauvery delta is the most important agricultural
tract and almost all the area is under paddy. Agricultural operations
in the delta start with the advent of freshets in the river with the
commencement of south-west monsoon. The Mettur reservoir is
opened for irrigation only when south-west monsoon actively sets in.
In some areas the first crop of paddy called the `Kuruvai' is grown,
which is normally of 105 days duration. After harvest of this crop, the
second shorter duration crop, known as `Thaladi' is grown. Kuruvai
generally extends from June to October, Thaladi generally extends
from October to February and is of 165 days duration. In most of the
areas, due to the difficulty of getting early supplies, one long term
crop called `Samba' of 180 days duration is grown and constitutes
the major crop in the delta.
MS Swaminathan supported double cropping to
even 180 day long crops when
105 day IR36 produced many times more crop yield
but he Sabotage its early introduction in India.
There is gross mismatch of water resources to food production as given in comparison of Punjab and CauveryBasin states. While Baba Seechewal plugs the breach in SutlejRiver in two days Bihar state fails to plug Kosi breach in six months, poverty and hunger is widespread.
People like MS Swaminathan to have chaired over 50 national commissions and expert groups turn out to be a Congenital Liar, Mediocre & Crook entire planning of Indian Agriculture & Water Management has been least productive & most inefficient.
Even Water Distribution Tribunals have been corrupted as given by the lies of MS Swaminathan.
Low paddy yield in CauveryBasin means losses or marginal returns to farmers resulting in poverty and hunger.
ØConstitution of National Water & Agriculture Management Tribunal to manage India's water resources in most efficient and productive manner.
ØNWAMT to regulate water use in the country and introduce minimum productivity standards.
ØNWAMT to monitor quality of seeds, check prices of seeds, determine remunerative procurement price and ensure 18% of bank credits are provided to farmers.
Inventor & Engineer
Kalam Address at the NAWAD Council Meeting, Madurai 01/Oct/2008 : Madurai
Integrated water mission
I am delighted to participate and address the NAWAD Council Members at Madurai.
My greetings to the organizers, NAWAD Council members, advisors, engineers, Networking of rivers association members, Industrialists, Lawyers, Farmers, students and the people from various cross section of the society. I used to interact and discuss with Mr. A.C. Kamaraj and his team number of times regarding the Interlinking of Rivers and Smart Waterways. We have jointly proposed the Smart Waterways programme to Tamilnadu, Kerala, Andrapradesh and Bihar. Out of which – Kerala Waterways programme has taken shape and it is progressing well. Hence I would congratulate Mr. AC Kamaraj and his team for the unstinted endeavor towards the interlinking of rivers with the alternate proposal to create waterways across the country.
The topic selected for this conference is "Water for all with special reference to Interlinking of Rivers in India" organized by NAWAD Council. I was thinking what I can share with the delegates of the conference who have come to discuss the very important issue of water management particularly conservation, development and management of water resources, and also our concern for providing water for irrigation and good quality potable water for all citizens of the country. There are also other concerns such as ecology, questions of displacement of human habitats etc. Therefore, my address will be on 'Integrated Water Mission'.
There are some who have great expectations about linking of rivers. There are also some others who have a question whether this programme will be a blessing for the country?
I would like to discuss four aspects with you.
1. What is the total requirement of water for our nation for drinking purposes, sanitation, irrigation and other industrial uses and what the nation gets through seasonal inputs (rain and melting of snow)?
2. One third of our population is affected by flood or drought every year.
3. Per capita availability of water varies from 10 kilo litre to 50 kilo litre for different seasons and regions.
4. What are the optimal ways of meeting the minimum needs of water for the entire population, assuming a particular population growth rate for the country. We should remember that by 2020 we have to produce approx. 400 million tons of grain and the water requirement will also go up due to population increase.
India gets approximately 4000 Billion cubic meters (BCM) of water every year from all natural sources. Out of this 700 BCM are lost in evaporation and another 700 are lost during the flow on ground. Also, the large part of water namely 1500 BCM flows into the sea due to floods. Thus, the remaining available water is only 1100 BCM. Out of this ground water recharge accounts for 430 BCM per year and the present utilized surface water is 370 BCM. The balance unutilized water which can be harnessed is 300 BCM.
Flood and Drought Situation
I was studying the frequent occurrence of flood and drought. Flood normally affects, 8 major river valleys spread over 40 million hectares of area in the entire country affecting nearly 260 million people. Similarly the drought affects 86 million people who are spread in 14 States covering a total of 116 districts. Wherefrom this flood comes? It comes from the 1500 BCM of water every year flowing during the monsoon season. If we have to prevent the damage due to the flood and reduce the severity of drought, we have to harness this 1500 BCM of water and distribute it to the drought affected areas. We can also partly store it in proper storage system so that it can be available during non-monsoon months. If we succeed in doing all these, we will not only save the loss arising out of the damage caused to the crops, properties and people by the flood to the extent of Rs. 2400 crores on an average per year, we will also save the recurring expenditure of Rs. 1200 crores incurred by the government as short term relief measure. The questions which arise are how to harness the flood water? And how to regulate the out flow of flood water so that it does not go into sea and it is converted as useful water for the mankind.
Harnessing the Water
Hence our aim should be to channelise the 1500 BCM of flood water, so that it can be made use of for providing water to drought affected areas and make sufficient water available to the whole country during non-monsoon months through proper linking, storage and distribution. Our plans must consider that presently the sanitation facilities are not available in more than 50% of the dwelling units in the country. Planners must take into account this aspect while selecting schemes for harnessing and distributing the water for our growing population. We may have to align our interlinking of rivers project for meeting the growing water demands of the nation by having a hybrid scheme which can harness the additional 300 BCM per year and also the flood water of 1500 BCM.
There is an urgent need to find long-term solution to control flood, store and utilize the surplus water during drought. Also the scheme chosen must be such that there is continuous availability of additional water for the growing population and the related needs of the nation by regulating the outflow into the sea. Now I would like to discuss about the possible issues arising out of this mission. The main issues which concern certain number of people are rehabilitation and environmental upgradation.
While working on such large schemes, certain amount of displacement of people is bound to happen. We should aim at minimizing dislocations. We also have to consider the overall impact and benefits of the scheme which in this case is going to benefit nearly 340 million people who are affected constantly by floods or droughts. Rehabilitation Plan should include working out area required for providing housing for the affected families which have to be relocated, space required for the livelihood agricultural, artisanal or industrial. Adequate funds required should become the component of the mission of "Connecting Water Resources". Also, by learning from the problems of the past, necessary new mechanisms have to be put in place to provide facilities to those who are likely to be displaced well in advance. Governance issues connected in these projects are equally important as technologies, project management, finances etc. The project report should consist of all these components before seeking sanction.
There are certain apprehensions by environmentalists that the large-scale diversion of water and disturbance to the terrain may endanger or affect geological and ecological balance. It is therefore essential to find solution to their concern and build it as a part of the mission of interlinking of rivers. For example, the aforestation area could be increased 10 to 15 percent from the present forest area and also designing the river flow management. Therefore the comprehensive mission planned by the government will have to take in to account pooled allocations from the various departments and closely monitored, as it will have impact in every field of development programmes of many ministries of state and central governments.
Mapping the Water resources and the route planning:
Science and Technology can surely help in executing such missions. India has its own remote sensing satellites and their applications will help in large-scale survey from the source and river flow pattern at various seasons. Optimum water routes and mapping of the environmental profile can be evolved using virtual reality through satellite and aerial imageries. Most important means is to use CARTOSAT-I for getting stereo type pictures on water resources and drought. This should become part of the Water Mission.
State wise linking local river basins
Interlinking of Tamilnadu Rivers: Let me now focus on the interlinking of rivers in Tamilnadu. Every time, Mettur Dam gets filled up most of the water goes to sea. For instance, in 2005, 3 times Mettur Dam overflowed and more than 400 TMC (Thousand Million Cubic meters) water went into sea. In 2007, now it is overflowing and possibly around 100 TMC may go to sea. This has become a repetitive phenomenon in the changed environment conditions. In this context, let us discuss how we can harness the flood water during flood, so that the surplus water can be saved and made available to the other drought prone regions of Tamilnadu and to the same region when they are in drought.
It is our experience that when flood devastates one river basin, the other basin experiences drought. During the October 2005 rains , when Cauvery was in overflowing conditions, vaigai basin experienced less rain and Vaigai dam level stood at 49ft, just 1/3 of its full capacity. When there was heavy downpour in Chennai, the drinking water sources around did not receive enough water. When Cauvery overflowing 3 times, all other dams and tanks in Tamilnadu were far below the capacity, even less than 40%. Kollidam proved very effective, discharging 3.23 lakhs cusecs during the 2005 flood. Since the width is 1km and runs for 160 km. It acted as reservoir. The lesson from Kollidam is "The flood carrier should be capable of absorbing heavy floods". This gives the message that by making the river as a flood absorber, we get maximum benefit for preserving the water. Now I would like to discuss about the Tamilnadu Waterways connecting the Tamilnadu river basins.
Tamilnadu Waterways Project: An expert team headed by Mr. AC Kamaraj, has prepared a project report called "Tamilnadu waterways Project". We had a detailed discussion, which I would like to summarise. Incidentally, I have presented this proposal to both the Chief Ministers of Tamilnadu during their regimes. They are also concerned about this problem and are taking certain steps towards to implement the project. We need to accelerate this programme in the interest of the state.. It has to become a mission mode project. A smart waterway will have the characteristics such as: sufficient navigable depth and width; conditions will permit navigation throughout the year; have smooth bends and minimum siltation; be able to navigate at least 18 hours per day; cater for efficient loading and unloading points; and the waterway should be adequately lighted and equipped with modern navigational and communication aids. This facility will enable the State to take advantage of the energy efficiency of transportation through waterways which is double of railways and eight times the road transportation system for a given load. This will also reduce the congestion on the road, and improve the environmental conditions and aforestation. Hence, there is a need to embark on a mission mode programme to make the total waterways length operational by improving the maintenance, dredging and creating water transport facilities through public – private partnership. This has to be a joint effort between the State and Central Government. Also, wherever the land acquisition and resettlement problems are coming in the way a special dispensation needs to be found for removing the bottlenecks.
I have seen waterways in many countries leading to the progress of the economy and tourist attraction. The Government must undertake to provide policy and legal support for the private operators to function without bottlenecks.
Tamilnadu Waterways Project is an innovative scheme, which serves as a storage reservoir and contains flood. It facilitates two-way flow and allows inter-basin transfer without affecting the existing system. It proposes to connect the following dams such as Sathanoor, Mettur, Bhavani Sagar, Vaigai, Manimuthar, Petchiparai, Solaiyar, Papanasam, Servalar and connects the lakes and tanks such as poondi, cholavaram, redhills, chemparampakkam, veeranam, Ramanathapuram. All the west to east flowing rivers in Tamilnadu are linked with Tamilnadu waterways GRID. This waterways grid may be created at the height of around 300 Meters above Sea Level so that it becomes a single horizontal plane, which connects all the dams and rivers at the same plane facilitating water feed or withdrawal from any part of the GRID. Entire river system is connected to Tamilnadu Waterways Grid.
Based on the preliminary estimates this project can be implemented in 5 phases. In the first phase – we may connect Mettur – Vaigai that is around 350 km stretch. Second phase, 270 km stretch will connect Mettur – Pallar. 150 km stretch of Vaigai to Tamirabarani can be connected in the third phase. In the fourth phase, 130 km stretch of Tamirabarani to Perunjani may be taken up. In the mean time, concurrently government should take up expanding the connectivity to all tanks and subsidiary rivers. The unique feature of this project is, it does not divert the utilizable flow of water from that river basin, but uses only excess flood water and ensures two way links. It does not involve any pumping; it can be implemented within a decade.
Benefits: This project envisages the following benefits to the state: effective flood control, provides irrigation facilities for additional 7.5 million acres, generates 2150 MW of hydro power, reduces the power consumption by 1350 MW due to increase in ground water level, provides 900 km of waterways with smart navigation for transportation of goods, the navigation will be operational around the year and will have a depth of 10 meter and width of 120 meter, Oil saving in waterways is 90% compared to Roadways, provides domestic and industrial water supply for 50 million people. Facilitates additional fish cultivation and promotion of tourism and water sports.
Estimate: The ten year project is a financially viable proposition. It will cost around Rs. 36,000 crores including the cost of power generation, waterways reservoirs and dams. The returns estimated per year from the Tamilnadu Waterways is around Rs. 4600 crores, including power Rs. 2150 crores, Rs. 1350 crores from navigation, Rs. 1100 crores from other sources such as drinking, fisheries and tourism. In addition, it will enrich the environment leading to creation of additional forestry, upgradation of environment through use of hydropower and more efficient waterways navigation, which uses only 10% of the oil required for equivalent road transportation. Certainly, this project can be implemented World Bank assistance or BOOT (Build, Operate, Own and Transfer) method.
This project is multi-disciplinary and will provide challenge to all the disciplines of engineering such as civil engineers, hydraulic experts, mechanical engineers, IT and electronic engineers, Geological experts, Cartographers and remote sensing technologists and business management teams. Availability of the state waterways will enable easy connectivity to the national waterways as an when it becomes operational. The following are the other waterways projects, which I have proposed to the State Assemblies in consultation with Mr. AC Kamaraj and his team.
Andrapradesh Smart Waterways: During my address to the Andhra Pradesh assembly, it was suggested that the Godavari water which flows into the sea to the extent of 2500 tmc during floods and 750 tmc during normal conditions may be diverted into the basin area for irrigation purposes through step dams, irrigation canals and water storage lakes and ponds. This will increase the irrigated area of the Godavari basin by over 30%. Andhra Pradesh government has agreed to implement this scheme.
Kerala Smart Waterways: The inland water transport system of Kerala has navigable rivers, backwaters and man made cross canals. What Kerala needs, as visualized, is a major water way extending from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasargod.
This will connect the whole state with all other cross canals. Development of smart waterways to the length of 650 kms will require detailed planning taking into account of additional irrigation potential, drinking water to population, flood control, additional power generation, tourist traffic potential and employment potential. The detailed project report has to be prepared and Govt. has to entrust the task to professional bodies. I have requested the Kerala legislative assembly to consider generating a policy of Smart waterways for power generation, tourist transportation, and material transportation round the year.. Recently, the Minister for Water Resources from Kerala informed me that the Kerala waterways project work is in progress and nearing completion. I am sure technological upgradation of Kerala Waterways with progressive policy will lead to prosperity of the state through employment generation.
Bihar Waterways Project: I have observed certain unique features in the river system of Bihar though Ganga. This main river is flowing from West to East, there are two types of flows coming into the Ganga. The northern rivers emanating from the Himalayas and another from the southern rivers coming from the Chhotanagpur plateau and Hazaribagh plateau. The major rivers coming from North-South are Ghaghara, Gandak, Bagmati, Karcha and Kosi. The rivers coming from the South are Son, Punpun, Phalgu, Dhadhar and Badua. Because of the flow from both the directions no water is saved and everything goes to the Sea. Also, the main flood bearing river the Kosi when it comes into Bihar is already in the plains and we have to find innovative flood management techniques with intensive international co-operation. We have seen the recent Koshi river flood which have deviated from the normal path due to the sudden flood and inflicted enormous amount of damage to the people of Bihar and their belongings and also damaged the land and properties.
Layered Wells: In the Gangetic region, I have recommended construction of layered wells in the entry points of Kosi river in. Normally the flood water has certain dynamic flow conditions. The layered wells assist gradual reduction in dynamic flow velocity after filling each storage well. The water thus stored will be useful during shortage period. Similar solution can be found for the north-eastern region. I have recommended this scheme can be included in the Interlinking of rivers programme.
However, I have suggested to Bihar Assembly to mitigate Bihar from the fury of the floods it will be essential to undertake the following short term measures.
(a) Recover the all the water bodies from encroachments using satellite maps..
(b) All the village ponds be immediately de-silted along with clearance of inlet and outlet and revived in the Gangetic basin.
(c) Carry out the dredging of the rivers from the center so that the riverbed is below the adjoining land area.
(d) Raise the protection wall for the wells slightly above the normal flood water level so that the debris does not fill the wells during floods and drinking water is available immediately after the floods.
(e) Create check dams so that water can be retained in the drought prone southern Bihar.
(f) To protect the cities create channelization, embankment and diversion channels up-streams.
(g) Encourage fishing in the ponds so that it can generate revenue for the farmers. This activity can be linked to a mission of Bihar of doubling fish production through introduction of modern production technologies, developing innovative strategies and approaches and taking effective conservation measures.
Here, I would like to give an example to the Members from the experience which DRDO had in the Nalanda project. Few years back, a project has been taken up for commissioning of an Ordnance Factory in an area of approximately 3000 acres.
While taking over the land we found that lot of water logging used to be there in the whole area during the monsoon season. During the last four years by reviving number of ponds in the area and using the soil in the ponds for increasing height of the adjoining land and planting a number of trees around the ponds, flooding in the area has been completely controlled. Hence, I consider this model can definitely be replicated in the whole of Bihar for preventing devastation and disruption due to floods.
In addition an expert group headed by AC Kamaraj has suggested creation of a 500 kms long waterway in South Bihar by connecting the South to North flowing rivers of Bihar, which will act as an additional reservoir for the state. It is essential to build the intermediate dams in the cross section of the rivers and the waterways, which creates the balancing waterways. This will provide irrigation facility to over 5 million acres enable generation of 1000 MWs of power and provide employment for 9 million people. These measures could also reduce the severity of floods by fast disposal of flood water and also ensure storage of surplus water for future use.
Goa waterways: Also I was informed by the Chief Minister of Goa that the Government of Goa has interlinked Zuari river with Kalay river in Mandovi basin through installation of pumps and gravity flow. This has been done to ensure availability of drinking water in this region. Every State should be asked to inter-connect their own rivers on the lines of Goa. This should form part of the State Planning. Overall planning of interlinking of rivers has to integrate the state water resource connectivity.
Simultaneously we have to undertake missions for water harvesting, recycling and environmental upgradation, for long term availability of 800 BCM surface and ground water. Water harvesting and water recycling should become mandatory for all the states. To improve water table we need to build check dams; develop water sheds, desilt ponds and rivers, clear the inlets and outlets to the ponds and water bodies and recharge the wells. If our rural areas are made to have the operational clean water bodies, recharging of the wells will take place. These activities will also generate employment. Tamil Nadu government has taken the lead and made water harvesting as a mandatory requirement for all house holders in the states including rural areas. Studies indicate that this has resulted in considerable improvement in ground water level in this season. In addition to water harvesting, water recycling is an essential for large consumers such as hotels, public Institutions and industries. The recycled water must be used for all usages including agricultural needs, except for drinking. This will reduce the percapita requirement of water to nearly 25% of the present consumption and enable larger number of population to get adequate potable water and for sanitation.
Our planet will encounter in the next few decades severe shortage of water if we are not careful in conserving and preserving precious water resources. In India, we should have action oriented plans to foresee the problem and work on a mission mode before the water situation worsens. It is essential that we must have a water management mission that unfurls our vision for next two decades, integrating interlinking of rivers, water harvesting, water re-cycling, and desalination of sea water using solar energy in specific areas.
Hence, I would suggest the following seven action points for this conference to discuss and debate and come out with the possible recommendations:
a. Recommending schemes which will ensure availability of minimum 25 kilo liters of water per year for each citizen in the country.
b. The schemes chosen should also ensure that availability of water required for producing four hundred million tonnes of foodgrains per year by 2020. Simultaneously, It is suggested that the agricultural scientists need to develop crop varieties, similar to ICRISAT seeds, which will need minimum water.
c. Scheme chosen should ensure that no state is affected by flood or drought. d. Water harvesting must be made mandatory for all buildings. Necessary legal provisions may be made in this regard.
e. Recommend appropriate legal provisions for making recycling of water mandatory in all buildings particularly large hotels and industries where large amount of water is consumed.
f. Expenditure required for rehabilitation and environmental upgradation should become part of the mission of "connecting water resources". Also a people oriented governance system should be in place to take care of affected people.
g. There are many schemes for interlinking of rivers. Ministry of Water Resources has to consolidate all the best aspects and bring out cost effective project report. As a whole, interlinking of rivers has to be a mission mode project.
I wish the NAWAD Council success in your mission of providing water for life to every citizen of the country.
Jharkhand Org Web Team is developing special pages for following areas. If you would like to contribute or volunteer online then please, visit at http://www.jharkhand.org.in/network and get more information.