Kosi-Mechi Interlinking project 

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Topics covered:

  1. Conservation related issues.

 

Kosi-Mechi Interlinking project 

 

What to study?

For prelims: Key features and geographical position of the project.

For mains: Interlinking of rivers- need, challenges, significance and potential.

 

Context: Union Government has approved Rs 4,900 crore Kosi-Mechi Interlinking project for interlinking of Kosi and Mechi rivers of Bihar. This is the second major river interlinking project in the country to be approved by Central Government after the Ken-Betwa project in Madhya Pradesh.

 

Need and significance:

  • The river Kosi is an international river originating from Tibet and flowing through Nepal in Himalayan Mountains and the lower portion through plains of North Bihar.
  • To overcome the acute problem of shifting of course of Kosi river, heavy sediment load, flooding etc. and to alleviate the severe suffering of the people of Bihar, the then His Majesty’s Government of Nepal and The Government of India signed an agreement on 25th April 1954 for implementation of Kosi project. The present proposal is an extension of Eastern Kosi Main Canal (EKMC) system upto river Mechi, a tributary of river Mahananda.
  • The aim of extension of EKMC upto Mechi river is mainly to provide irrigation benefits to the water scarce Mahananda basin command in the districts of Araria, Kishanganj, Purnea and Katihar during kharif season depending upon the pondage available in Hanuman Nagar barrage.
  • This intrastate link scheme will thus transfer part of surplus water of Kosi basin to Mahananda basin. In view of irrigation benefit from the link canal, the project is fully justified.