India wants a fresh start with the diversion of the Brahmaputra River and a moratorium on construction of the Rs 2,000-crore (US$2.6-billion) Daman Sekhar dam.
The dam, which will be built in a basin with the Brahaputra and the Ganga, is being built by a consortium of Chinese, Indian and foreign investors and is the largest dam in the world.
India has a long history of dredging rivers to divert them for use in its industrial, agriculture and power industries.
But the Indian government has been pushing to divert the Brahp and Ganga rivers to create the dam.
This is not only for environmental reasons, but also for economic ones, said the dam’s owner, Daman Sehgal.
“India is a small country.
It is not a superpower, so we cannot control everything in this space.
But if we divert these rivers, it will make India a much more powerful country,” said Sehkar, who was a minister in the previous government of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.”
This will create a new era for India in the river sector.
And the more rivers we divert, the more opportunities will be created,” he added.
Sehkar is hopeful that the dam will be completed by 2020.
The project is likely to cost around Rs 7,000 crore (US $2.5-billion).
The project, which is being run jointly by the Chinese and Indian firms, will be able to divert about 40,000 cubic metres of river each day.
This will generate about 2.5 million jobs and about $1.6 billion in economic benefits, according to Daman SEHALG, Damaran Sehal, chairman and managing director of Daman & Gange Ltd.
In the absence of any flood-control infrastructure, the water levels of the rivers are already in the low-end of the range, said Sehar.
India needs to divert at least 1.5 meters per day to keep the river flowing, he added, which he expects will reduce the cost of the project by about 20 percent.
“When the river has to be diverted, the cost is already reduced, so the project is very viable,” said Suvarna Gopalakrishnan, senior water resources engineer at Indian Institute of Technology, Bangalore.
“The idea is that we can divert the water level by at least 30 meters per hour, but if the river does not overflow, it can be diverted by 50 meters per minute, she said.”
We can divert even the highest-level river with just one meter per minute.
It has been done in the past.
But we are only at that level right now.
We need to divert all the higher-level rivers.
“The project is expected to take about six years to complete, with the first phase completed by 2019.
The next phase will be set up in 2020 to complete the project.
Gopalakshyan said it was hoped that the project would be able, with time, to divert water levels to a sustainable level and also reduce the carbon footprint of the water diversion.
The dam will have a capacity of 10 million cubic meters of water each day, of which about 4.5 percent will be diverted to irrigate crops and about 6 percent will go to create drinking water.