While the State government is planning to link rivers in the State, a new idea has been mooted for the people of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh to effectively utilise untapped water sources of the Western Ghats to tide over the water shortage in southern States.
The brain behind the idea is former collector of North Arcot District, D Gangappa, He is confident that his proposal for a ‘Southern Water Grid’ would be practically viable, mutually beneficial as well as cost effective.
Gangappa, who was in Vellore recently to mobilise support for the initiative, said the solution to the water crisis faced by these stateslies in tapping water from overflowing rivers and routing it to drought-prone areas. This will ensure that flooding is avoided and damage to the environment, because of diversion of water, will also be reduced.
Gangappa said during monsoons, if out of an estimated 2,000 tmc of rainwater that flows to the Arabian Sea, unutilised, from catchment areas of the Western Ghats, around 500 tmc could be tapped, it will sufficiently reduce the crisis of the states of Karnataka, TN and AP.
Gangappa suuggested that remote sensing technology and drilling holes along dykes could be useful.
Once the water is sourced from the Western Ghats, ‘follow the river’ technique has to be used to let the water into the chain of downstream tanks.
Being a joint venture involving the three southern States and the Central government, the project, estimated at `50,000 crore, could be shared among the governments, Gangappa said. Gangappa has asked the people of these three states to join the Southern Grid initiative.