The ecology or Indian rivers has basically been destroyed by the absence of laws and policies governing their life and life along the river banks; or if there are laws, these have, as usual, been not implemented. Our rivers are heavily polluted, silted; river banks have been decimated with tree cutting and removal, there has been no effort to marshal this huge national resource in the service of the nation and its people.
The country suffers from floods and draughts at the same time each year. No government has bothered to create the framework to manage a story of immense availability of water in the monsoons to the immense drought that stalk the land in other parts of the country, further degrading the environment in the country.
Rivers should and could be an immense transport and tourism source, but no such concerted effort has been made by our politicians and bureaucrats whose minds only work to how much and how quickly they can make money through conniving schemes to steal from the national and state exchequers.
This document deals with the problem of river pollution and has taken Policy initiatives to stop these permanently. Meantime, in the immediate-fix effort, The Rising India Party proposes the Policy Frame on multiple fronts to permanently solve the nation’s flood-draught situation and the river ecology regeneration as below:
- The government would set up River-System Audit-Plans-Action Groups (RSAPAGs) throughout per 150-500 kilometers of river bed depending on the stretch conditions.
- These groups would comprise 25% drawn from government bodies, 50% engineers and technologists and 25% drawn from the public resident in the area with special emphasis on drawing from those populations that use, or abuse the rivers, including from illiterate or semi-literate population segments so that there is wide representation and thought / experience inputs.
- Public-Private partnership models would be preferred to implement action plans or, in case there are funding issues, private sector funding would be invited to take up river-sections for cleaning and development and in exchange would be given defined right over part area to develop into residences, hotels and tourism spots for commercial gain on land lease arrangement or on build-operate-transfer basis.
- The entire population would get engaged in nation building within these policies.
- Industry would be roped in to manufacture drudging equipment and to rebuild the river-bank ecology.
- These Police Initiatives would develop once this document is launched in the public domain.
- In addition to the above-named Policy initiatives to clean and re-build the river system, The Rising India Party government would move immediately to bring to the fore-front the great Indian River Linking project that was initially and first conceived of by British engineers in the 1920s but never carried out, perhaps because the Indian independence movement was in full swing by then.
- The British had calculated that during monsoon, the flooded river system of India had or carried so much excess water, that if the river system was linked, there would be more than enough to carry the water using a canal system to the arid or water-deficient areas.
- In fact, they calculated that there would be an excess run-off to enable water to be piped to the Arabian desert to green it! But that was in united-undivided pre-1947 India.
- The Rising India Party takes the Policy decision to put the river-linking project at the fore-front of major nation building projects.
- All ideas would be considered prior to arriving at the actual building of the project.
- It is anticipated that various States fighting over river water rights, would find advantages in the projects and would benefit equally.
- All finance options, including private investments and public-private models would be seriously examined where, in return for investments in the project, commercial propositions would be considered such that the investor get a return on investment that is attractive even as it fast-tracks the vital nation building development.
- The government would identify areas to which the linked-river excess flow is to be carried in consultation with all the Indian States.
- The canal network to be built would be largely underground through piped system or concrete or a mix of both such that evaporation and maintenance costs are minimized.
- The canal network would be used to ensure that water reservoirs throughout the nation are at full capacity.
- Once these are taken care of, then there would be a system of above ground lakes that would be filled
- Once that is provided for, a system of underground storage tanks would be built to feed areas that are normally water deficient and so on till the excess water is used.
- The canal system would be all interconnected such that in case of water overflow despite these provision, it can keep circulating without wastage.
- System of pumps and solar driven power along the routes would be built to ensure that the water stays in peak usable condition.
- New cities can be built along the routes of the river-overflow canal system.