Modi's USD 87 billion river linking scheme to end flood woes in India
In a bid to end deadly floods and droughts, Narendra Modi will begin work in around a month on a $87 billion scheme to connect some of the country's biggest rivers. The river-linking projects was first proposed in 2002 by the last BJP-led government.
For years, parts of India have suffered from devastating spells of drought. As average temperatures in India rise and the growing population puts increasing demands on water resources, millions of people are without a reliable water supply.
The river linking scheme will link nearly 60 rivers, including the mighty Ganges, which the government thinks will cut farmers' dependence on monsoon rains by bringing millions of hectares of cultivatable land under irrigation.
The project is expected to create some 87 million acres of irrigated land, and transfer 174 trillion litres of water a year.
According to the sources, Modi has personally pushed through clearances for the first phase of the project, which would also generate thousands of megawatts of electricity.
The projects will also involve the construction of a dam on the Ken river, also known as the Karnavati, in north-central India and a 22-km (14-mile) canal connecting it to the shallow Betwa.