Monday, October 04, 2004

Thanneer Thanneer

"Inter-linking of rivers" , the pet-project of successive governments at Delhi appears to be a distant dream. Water and Rivers are in the state list in the constitution. Two states in the South cannot come to an agreement and resolve a deadlock on water-sharing. These feuding state governments might have genuine positions in terms of their concern for their farmers. Achieving a compromise between all other states in the Union is going to be an enormous excercise. The cost figures quoted for construction alone are around $ 200 billion. Add to this the operational costs and the environmental and social costs including the rehabiliation issues, we have a project whose size is of the orders of our GDP.

Before we embark on a project of such enormous magnitude, it is important that we look at other alternatives. The article http://www.indiatogether.org/2003/sep/env-virtual.htm talks about the seeds of a possible solution. So what is virtual water? http://www.indiatogether.org/2004/aug/env-virtwater.htm explains more.

We have seen rioting, never ending legal actions, demonstration by everyone from farmers to filmstars, symbolic fasts by superstars and chief ministers. None of this has helped in the case of the 2 southern states. Is it time we started exploring other solutions. Could Virtual Water be a solution ?

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