Diverting Rivers in India and China

While media remains indulgent in jingoistic reporting of diversion of rivers in India and China and the civil society remains fragmented with its inherent historical amnesia and morality with regard to developments that are changing the natural course of rivers beyond repairs, Government of India has coopted some environmental NGOs in furtherance of its designs. These designs include equating national security with national security and public interest with national interest.

These NGOs publicly shy away from supporting Interlinking of Rivers in India or in China but they are within Government Committees whose terms of reference makes interlinking of rivers fait accompli. Even as such ecologically disastrous projects are under execution and there are only two ways of expressing one's ideological positions either by opposing them or by supporting them, there are those who prefer to be fence sitters. These entities must be identified because they are more lethal than the visible actors. The civil society space has suffered massive corrosion due such creatures.

China plans to divert Brahmaputra China's plan to construct a dam on the Brahmaputra river in Tibet will lead to a major ecological disaster within the next few years. It is feared in the near future as water flow in the Brahmaputra-Jamuna river will fall drastically if China goes ahead with its plan. China plans to divert 200 billion cubic metres of water annually to the Yellow River or Huang He by building a dam at Yarlung Tsangpo.

Like India, though Beijing has claimed the project is still at a conceptual stage, confidential sources confirmed that work has already begun with the target to finish it in the next five to seven years.
Yarlung-Tsangpo scheme is part of China's long-term river interlinking project to divert water from the south to the north.

On April 20, 2007 the media reported Bihar government's mammoth project to interlink the major rivers within Bihar to address the dual problems of flood and draught. Under the scheme Ganga water will get transferred to South Bihar; Kosi water to Mahananda basin; Burhi Gandak, Baya and Gandak waters to the existing Gandak Canal System; and Sone basin water to Punpun-Harobar-Kiul basin through barrages, pumps, and canals.

As per a Press Release of Government of India of April 2007 says, National Water Development Agency (NWDA) has sought an outlay of Rs. 241 crore for the 11th Five Year Plan. Out of the 30 links identified for preparation of feasibility reports under National Perspective Plan for Water Resources Development (16 Peninsular and 14 Himalayan), NWDA has prepared feasibility reports (FRs)for 14 links under Peninsular Component and 2 under Himalayan Component (Indian portion only).

The implementation of Interlinking of rivers depends upon the consensus and cooperation of the States. Consensus has been arrived for one priority link namely Ken-Betwa for which Government of Madhya Pradesh. Uttar Pradesh and Government of Indian signed a tripartite MoU on 25th August 2005 for preparation of Detailed Project Report (DPR). NWDA has incurred expenditure amounting to Rs. 19.7 crore for 2003-04, Rs. 21.3 crore for 2004-05 and Rs. 17 crore for 2005-06 for carrying out various studies pertaining to Inter basin water transfers including preparation of DPR of Ken-Betwa link. The expenditure is not booked State-wise by NWDA.

While this ominous trend of rewriting geography after having re-written history is manifesting itself rapidly, civil society formations of middle class, fund driven and apolitical nature remain focussed in their compartments with their selfish short term project goals. These Club of Rome creatures who call for change in human values rather the change in the unjust social and political order issues cohabit with manifest corporate criminals. Let us face it these formations are any day worse than the formations envisaged by likes of Mayawati.

Corporate media that builds these brand individuals not as humans but as market machines for mere mercenary gains are bound to miserably fail in the way it failed in the recent UP elections as also in the past by serving a make believe world to the urban folks so that they remain insulated from massive violent disturbances underway on our own landscape.

In fact even as China has intruded in Arunchal Pradesh and the Indian Defence Secretary says that China is preparing for regional war, the corporate NGOs and likes of B G Verghese argue that this opens up space for co-operation in the field of hydro-power generation and likes of M S Swaminathan argue that such projects are win-win initiatives pandering to the whims and fancies of the rulers in their parochialism to serve their own interest.

Not realising that even Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)in the US that was conceived during World War I although the execution happened prior to World War II. China consulted with the TVA because of its reputation soon after World War II, when China began to plan the Three Gorges Dam to control the flow of the Yangtze River.

Is there a conspiracy being hatched to initiate a war to use it as a manifest excuse to suppress the internal disturbances within India and China?


Anonymous said…
Although Government of India has not responded to the grave claim made by a Member of Parliament from Arunachal Pradesh that the Chinese had taken over a large tract of Indian land in Arunachal Pradesh, Defence Secretary Shekhar Dutt revealed Chinese are building a military strategy to win regional wars that will enable the Asian superpower to dominate the region.

To realise their strategy, the Chinese are relying on high-tech information and communication technologies and exploring non-conventional or asymmetric warfare.

"China has embarked on a major programme of informisation. The strategy is to win regional wars under high-tech conditions," says Dutt. "China's 2004 defence paper envisages establishment of a 'military and national information infrastructure' with 'appropriate military and civilian information capability' to conduct 'cyber war'."

Times Now has consistently reported the matter.

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