Govt’s Rs 5.5 lakh crore river-linking plan for tackling floods


New Delhi: In an aim to tackling floods, the BJP-led government will begin work in around a month on an $87 billion (Rs 5,55,593 crore) scheme to connect some of the country’s biggest rivers, as per sources, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi bets on the ambitious project to end deadly floods and droughts.

The huge plan entails linking nearly 60 rivers, including the mighty Ganges, which the government hopes will cut farmers’ dependence on fickle monsoon rains by bringing millions of hectares of cultivatable land under irrigation.

In recent weeks, some parts of India and neighbouring Bangladesh and Nepal have been hit by the worst monsoon floods in years, following two years of poor rainfall.

As per sources, diverting water from bounteous rivers such as the Ganges, Godavari and Mahanadi to sparse waterways by building a clutch of dams and a network of canals is the only solution to floods and droughts.

But some experts say India would be better off investing in water conservation and better farm practices. Environmentalists and wildlife enthusiasts have also warned of ecological damage.

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