This refers to "Interlinking of rivers: A dangerous idea" (August 9). The topography of the Indian sub-continent has, like any other part of the world, been predetermined by nature. Nature has determined the geographical and geological pattern for all perennial and non-perennial rivers with planned distribution of suitable soil and mineral resources. Therefore, investment of funds for diversion of water is tantamount to defying nature inviting self-destruction.
Problems arise due to increased habitation, necessitating intensive deforestation that has impeded the natural flow of river water. The excessive speed of flowing rivers in the catchment areas caused by deforestation and resultant soil erosion has reduced silt availability from the mountains, reducing soil fertility, creating floods and lowering crop yields. The channelisation of water from perennial rivers to drier areas is damaging because their geological and geographical purposes have already been determined. The availability of natural resources is thus in accordance with a planned climatic condition. Human intervention upsets these conditions. Additionally, diverting water through canals to interconnect rivers clashes with natural environmental planning, destroying the natural resources on either side. We should stop playing with the naturally planned environment created for our benefit and adapt our lifestyle with it to avoid destruction in the long run. Respect for nature will create a healthy population and in the process, a sound economy.
C Gopinath Nair, Kochi
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