Ramaswamy R. Iyer has rightly explained how the Supreme Court has overstepped its domain by directing the Centre to constitute a committee to pursue the plan of linking India's rivers (“With all due respect, My Lords,” March 2). Implementing a project is the executive's prerogative. The ILR project is gigantic and involves huge money.
States like Kerala have already started saying the order is not applicable to them, as the Court did not hear them before giving the direction. The project is not feasible. The government must file a review petition.
M.K.B. Nambiar, Mahe
The ILR project, if implemented, would be a blunder. We cannot mess with nature. Charting a new course for rivers will be a Herculean task. It will endanger biodiversity and indigenous livelihoods. Rivers change course in 70-100 years, and linking them can cause huge problems. Reduction of water flows to the seas may jeopardise aquatic life. Linking rivers is unfeasible, financially draining and unsustainable. It will be wiser to go back to our old systems of rainwater harvesting and practising economy of water usage.
Shantha M. Doss, Hyderabad
Rivers have an ecological identity. We are unaware of the consequences of intruding into stable river systems. The world is already reeling under the impact of many environment related issues. Let us not add to them. The huge project may have an irreversible negative impact.
H.N. Ramakrishna, Bangalore
The judiciary cannot direct or advise the executive in matters of policy as long as the executive does not transgress or deviate from its duties. It can only play the role of a watchdog — monitor policies and programmes. Linking rivers will cast a huge financial burden on the States.
K. Suresh Babu, Tiruchi
The contention that “… assuming that there is a serious water scarcity problem, it is not the business of the Supreme Court to deal with it” is unacceptable. Why have the States referred water disputes to the Supreme Court if water-sharing is not its business? The highest court is perhaps vexed with the cumbersome water-wars between the States. Hence the diktat.
Given the gigantic task of linking rivers, one is bound to be pessimistic. But it is the only way by which water can be prevented from draining into the sea and diverted to parched areas. Let us find ways to implement, rather than scuttle, the ILR project.
A. Seshagiri Rao, Chennai
Man has still not invented a potential alternative to water for survival. As there is scarcity of water, governments must constitute a special committee to look into the possibility and viability of linking river outflows. The linking of flood prone tributaries will prevent the loss of life and property, besides sustaining ecology and water level.
V. Subramanian, Chidambaram
Since the inception of the ILR project in 2002, the executive has done nothing to carry it forward. In fact, it ran away from its responsibility to ensure people their right to water. It was left to the Court to come to their rescue.
Javed Siddique, Aligarh
The Supreme Court's direction is in the interest of those who are victims of flood and drought every year. Successive governments have failed to provide people access to water, which is why the court has stepped in. It is certainly not a case of overreach.
Barun Kumar Jha, Bangalore
Every national initiative or programme has people supporting and opposing it. Same is the case with interlinking of rivers. Some hail it as a major project while some say it is catastrophic.
On the one hand, hundreds of litres of water are wasted by people every day and, on the other, there are people who don't have access to even a litre of water a day. I appeal to the Supreme Court to direct the government to promote efficient use of water, rather than force it to implement the river linking project.
Reshmi Ranjith, Delhi
Keywords: interlinking of rivers