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31th January 2024 (9 Topics)

Modified PKC-ERCP River Linking Project

Context

Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, in collaboration with the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti, have recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to implement the Modified Parbati-Kalisindh-Chambal-ERCP (Modified PKC-ERCP) Link Project.

Crucial River link: This strategic initiative aims to integrate the long-pending PKC river link project with the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project, aligning with the national perspective plan of interlinking rivers (ILR) under the Government of India's program.

Background

  • The Parbati-Kalisindh-Chambal (PKC) link project, initially conceptualized in 1980, is part of the National Perspectives Plan.
  • Rajasthan proposed the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) in 2019, with the Task Force for Interlinking of Rivers approving its merger with the PKC link project in December 2022.
  • The ERCP focuses on intra-basin water transfer within the Chambal basin to address water deficits in several districts of eastern Rajasthan.

Modified PKC-ERCP Project:

  • The Modified PKC-ERCP is an inter-state river linking project currently in the Detailed Project Report (DPR) preparation phase.
  • The Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) among Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and the Centre will address aspects like water sharing, cost and benefit distribution, implementation mechanisms, and water management in the Chambal basin.

The PKC Link Project:

  • The PKC link project, part of the National Water Development Agency's plan, involves diverting water from the Kalisindh tributary and river Newaj to the Chambal River.
  • Rajasthan proposed merging the ERCP with the PKC project in 2019, leading to its approval in December 2022.

The ERCP:

  • The Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project focuses on transferring surplus monsoon water from Kalisindh, Parvati, Mej, and Chakan subbasins to water-deficient sub-basins of Banas, Gambhiri, Banganga, and Parbati.
  • Thirteen districts in eastern Rajasthan are set to benefit from this project by receiving drinking and industrial water.

Benefits of the Modified Project:

  • The Modified PKC-ERCP project aims to provide drinking and industrial water to 13 districts in eastern Rajasthan and the Malwa and Chambal regions of Madhya Pradesh.
  • Additionally, it plans to irrigate over 6 lakh hectares, enhancing water security in both states.

Necessity of the MoU:

  • The Union Jal Shakti Ministry highlights that the Detailed Project Report (DPR) submitted by the Rajasthan government for the ERCP did not adhere to the prevailing norms, planning for 50% dependable yield instead of the required 75%.
  • Following discussions and proposals, the Modified PKC link project was formulated to address these concerns and ensure the project's viability.

The Modified PKC-ERCP River Linking Project represents a collaborative effort to optimize water resources, providing significant benefits to eastern Rajasthan and the Chambal regions of Madhya Pradesh. The MoU and subsequent agreements pave the way for a comprehensive and sustainable approach to interlinking rivers, contributing to water security and agricultural development in the region.

River Interlinking projects in India

  • The Inter-link project has been split into three parts: 
  • a northern Himalayan rivers inter-link component,
  • a southern Peninsular component and starting in 2005, and
  • an intrastate river linking component. 
  • The project is being managed by India's National Water Development Agency Ministry of Jal Shakti. 
  • NWDA has studied and prepared reports on 14 inter-link projects for the Himalayan component, 16 inter-link projects for the Peninsular component, and 37 intrastate river linking projects. 

Need of interlinking rivers

  • Drought, floods, and shortage of drinking water
  • Population and food security
  • Salt export needs
  • Navigation
  • Current reserves and loss in groundwater level

Concerns associated

  • Ecological and environmental issues
  • Displacement of people and fisheries profession
  • Poverty and population issues
  • Lack of technological developments
  • Inter-state political views

Some major river linking projects in India

  • Par-Tapi-Narmada link project 
  • Mahanadi Godavari link project
  • Ken-Betwa link project (KBLP)
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