Open three waterways to harvest flood water: expert

September 27th, 2008 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Sep 27 (IANS) With many states not agreeing on the river inter-linking project, an expert Saturday proposed an alternative plan to harvest flood water - open three major waterways across the country that will be connected through a network of canals.”The country can have three major water ways - Himalayan, central and southern - networked through a system of canals so that flood water is harvested,” A.C. Kamaraj, member of the government-appointed Expert Committee for Inter-Linking of Rivers, told reporters.

The Himalayan waterway would be 4,500-km long and 500-metre contour mean sea level, connecting tributaries of the Ganga and the Brahmaputra.

The central waterway would be 5,750-km long and 300-metre contour mean sea level, connecting the tributaries of the Ganga, Mahanadhi, the Narmada, Tapti and other rivers.

The southern waterway would be 4,650-km long and 300-metre contour mean sea level, connecting all southern rivers.

“There will also be a balancing waterway on the upper side of national ways to act as a long reservoir, and a check dam with a storage capacity of 15,000 tmc (thousand million cubic metre),” he said.

The three waterways will be interconnected to transfer surplus water from one region to another.

According to Kamaraj, the canals could be used as inland waterways for transport and also for power generation to the tune of 60,000 MW.

“In India, around 1,600 billion cubic metres (BCM) of flood water flows into the sea. As per our project, even if 430 BCM is harvested, it could fill 15,000-km canals,” Kamaraj said.

Unlike the conventional canal system that works on gradient water flow, Kamaraj proposes contour concept canals, which would store water and in case of flood at one part, water will flow automatically to another.

According to him, the project could be implemented in different modules and private sector could be invited to participate in it.

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