India is under grip of drought affecting a staggering 33 crore people who are consequently face drinking water shortage and agricultural distress, the Centre had informed the Supreme Court. 2.55 lakh, a quarter million villages, in 254 out of 678 districts have drinking water shortage, let alone water to irrigate land.
Nine farmers commit suicide daily in drought-hit Maharashtra thequint
The top ten drought-hit states in India include Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Telangana, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bihar, Haryana, and Andhra Pradesh. Clearly, the Modi government has a very major issue in hand to deal with.
To tackle this, the Modi government is planning to divert water from its rivers, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati has told BBC.
Bharati said transferring water, including from major rivers like the Brahmaputra and the Ganges, to drought-prone areas is now her government’s top priority.
The Inter Linking of Rivers (ILR) has 30 links planned for water-transfer, 14 of them fed by Himalayan glaciers in the north of the country and 16 in peninsular India.
Dried up Manjara dam near Latur, Maharashtra thehindubusinessline
“We are going ahead with five links [of the rivers] now and the first one, the Ken-Betwa link [in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh] is going to start any time now,” she said.
Phase I of the Ken-Betwa linking could roll soon indianexpress
“And then we will have the Damnaganga-Pinjal interlink which will sort out the Mumbai drinking water facility.”
Besides, she said the government also has other projects aimed at supplying water for irrigation and drinking in the next few years and the ILR was a long-term scheme.
In India, many states have received deficient rainfall due to the El Niño effect, a warming of temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of South America, that skews wind and pressure systems around the world.