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Best Alternative

Socio–economic Advantages:

Consensus :
Donor States have reservations in agreeing for diversion as they would like to insure against the worst-case scenario. IRG allows ‘TWO-WAY’ flow. This immediately paves way for consensus amongst the States as the Donor State can get back its need in times of distress as a Water Credit.  This is the overriding factor which makes IRG a readily acceptable proposition

Reliability : IRG is a Parallel Concept, which permits water to be drawn at any desired location from the IRG. Hence, in IRG, the most distressed regions can be served first by prioritization of uses.

Substitution and Exchange : IRG provides for straight-forward uses in the required places. Many NWDA links are based on the principle of ‘Substitution and Exchange’, almost impossible to achieve in practice and will create social/law & order problems.

Environment &  Ecology : Location of the Canals at the elevated levels is neither forest nor plains in most  of  the  country.  Hence, impact on  Environment & Ecology   is the least. 

Technical  Advantages :

No Pumping in IRG : IRG does not involve any pumping, which is  an element of uncertainty.

Increased Hydro Power : IRG can generate up to 65, 000 MW of Hydro Power. IRG Power Houses can be scattered throughout the country near load centres, requiring only short Transmission Lines.

Command Area : As the 3 canals are formed at higher elevations, between 270 and 530 meters, the command area available for irrigation and drinking water distribution is far more than NWDA links, which are located at much lower elevations.

Navigation : IRG provides year-round availability of water & navigation throughout the year.

Time Schedule, Cost and Funding:  IRG is estimated to cost about Rs. 3.9  lac crores. The parallel concept enables implementation in 5 – 8 years, as majority of  the States can commission the project simultaneously.     Further, IRG can be tackled in stages and  revenue generated from  each  stage  can  be   pumped  to  fund  the  next  stage  and  so on.  Hence, it may  be  possible to start the  IRG,   especially  the  east wing of  the Deccan  Canal, with a capital of  about   Rs. 50,000  Crores.   The  Godavari – Krishna – Pennar - Cauvery   portion  can  be completed in about 5 years time  and  the acute water shortage in the   4   southern  States can  be  tackled  at  the  earliest.   Taking  up  in  stages  facilitates  the  entire  IRG  to  be implemented on BOT or BOOT basis  typically as a private sector project and Joint-sector Ventures of the state and the Central governments.