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Interlinking of Rivers in India: Overview and Ken-Betwa Link

Ganesh Pangare (Editor) Yoginder K. Alagh (Editor) Biksham Gujja (Editor)
Synopsis The programme of Interlinking of Rivers (ILR) in India has been one of the most ambitious ideas ever, of any government till date. It is an idea that has conjured up visions for the common India-of a country free from floods and droughts, and people in Tamil Nadu tasting the sweet waters of the holy Ganges. Such images of passion and emotion contrasted together with the recurring floods and droughts in various parts of the country have helped those in power to sell the dream of river linking to the people. Backed by the Supreme Court judgement and a supportive and a strong advocate of the project. The President of India, the NDA government went all out to promote and get this project initiated. The present UPA government is also taking forward this idea. A project of this magnitude needs to go through a transparent and public process of evaluation in terms of, not only the economic costs and benefits, but in all aspects of project planning. What we have until now, are only a few prefeasibility report of some of the links. The first report to have been put in the public domain was that of the Ken-Betwa link. The National Civil Society Committee on Interlinking of Rivers in India (NCSCILR) which has started a dialogue on this subject, has brought together experts from around the country to analyse the first prefeasibility report put out by the government. The book is one of the first attempts in India to look at the river linking project from a rational and well researched perspective. It is not a one sided view: care has been taken to analyse the project in an unbiased way. The book throws up various pros and cons associated with the project, and also gives insights into how such projects can be analysed. On the Ken-Betwa link, various experts have pointed out the gaps in the pre-feasibility report, where further work needs to be done, and what needs to be taken into consideration when such projects are planned. Thus, the book is a first step in starting a well informed debate in the country, based on facts and figures, and not on rhetoric and unreasoned passion. It is left to the readers to form their own opinions about the project after going through the various arguments put forth by experts.
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About the authors

Ganesh Pangare

Ganesh Pangare is a water resources expert currently with World Water Institute, Pune, India, as its Technical Director. His main area of work during the past fifteen years has been in people-centered water interventions, such as indigenous water harvesting systems, micro-watershed management, participatory irrigation management, urban water bodies, and wastewater management. Currently his main thrust of work is in the area of pro-poor water sector reforms and policy at local, national, regional and global levels for livelihood and food security, with a focus on primary stakeholder participation. Ganesh was a member of the High Level Working Group on Watershed Development, Rainfed Farming and Natural Resource Management of the Planning Commission, Government of India, for the 10th Five Year Plan (2003-2007). He is also a member of the National Civil Society Committee on Interlinking of Rivers in India. Ganesh is an Ashoka Fellow, of the Ashoka Innovators for the Public Program based in Washington, USA. He is also a Fellow of the London-based Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) International Program. He is an Advisor to the Water Portfolio of the Acumen Fund, New-York, USA. In the course of his career, Ganesh has been the Director of two premier organizations working in the area of Natural Resource Management in India; India's Natural Resource Economics and Management Foundation, and Indian Network on Participatory Irrigation Management. He has worked with Center for Science and Environment, New Delhi, and taught at the Institute of Rural Management, Anand, Gujarat, India. Ganesh's publications include Users in Water Management, co-authored with Rakesh Hooja, and K.V. Raju; Watershed Development Projects in India: An Evaluation Research Report 127,of International Food Policy Research Institute, co-authored with John Kerr, and Vasudha Lokur Pangare, From Poverty to Plenty: The story of Ralegan Siddhi, and The Good Society: The Pani- Panchayat Model of Sustainable Water Management. He has also published several monographs and working papers related to watershed development, participatory irrigation management and traditional water harvesting systems. Ganesh has done consulting work for the World Bank, International Food Policy Research Institute, Asian Development Bank, Ford Foundation, United Nations Research Institute for Social Development, Danida, GTZ, India-Canada Environment Facility, WWF, Government of India, and many other national and bilateral organizations. Ganesh was a panelist for the session on "Water for Food and Rural Development" at the Second World Water Forum, Hague, 2000. He was an invitee at the Stockholm Water Symposium 2001; International Conference on Freshwater, Bonn 2001; and World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, 2002. He convened a workshop on Farmer Networks for Integrated Water Resources Management at the Third World Water Forum, Japan, 2003. Ganesh has traveled extensively, to different parts of the world to study various water and development interventions, including watershed projects in China, indigenous communities in North Canada, agricultural communes in CIS countries, sanitation projects in South Africa, dryland farming in Ethiopia, Farmer Federations in Nepal. Ganesh is an excellent photographer and has won a couple of awards. He is also a wildlife enthusiast, and spends all his spare time in nature related activities.

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Yoginder K. Alagh

Yoginder K. Alagh is currently Chancellor, Nagaland University and President of Human Development Institute. Prof. Alagh was former Minister of Power and Planning and Science and Technology, Government of India. Earlier he was Vice Chancellor of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.

Biksham Gujja

Biksham Gujja is policy advisor of Living Waters Programme at WWF-International. He is also special project scientist based at ICRISAT, Hyderabad. Dr. Gujja is a water policy specialist and associated with several global initiatives.

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Bibliographic information

Title Interlinking of Rivers in India: Overview and Ken-Betwa Link
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2006
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8171885209
length 194p., Maps; Tables; References; 23cm.
Subjects History