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Expert Opinions

IRG proposals have found acceptance amongst intelligentsia, academicians, eminent engineers, politicians and public at large as evidenced during discussions and deliberations at meetings, seminars and conferences throughout the country. The Independent Group of Experts set up by the Task Force on IOR very much appreciated the efforts taken to formulate IRG and found it to be best alternative to NWDA proposals.  The project, of late, is getting  significant attention at the highest level.

Comparison of Salient Features – Irrigation, Power, Cost , Project-duration , Environment

Besides IRG being  a very viable and reliable alternative to all the other proposals,  there are scores of other advantages in IRG  which provides for developing 65,000 MW of Hydro power as against 32,350,MW(Net)  proposed by NWDA not to mention Pumping of water between certain links.  Navigation is year-round in IRG against only 5 months in NWDA as there is flow in its links only for a few months in a year.  Irrigable area is 160 m acre in IRG (NWDA only 87.5). IRG is much more cost-effective than NWDA, National Waterways Project (NWP) and other proposals.   Cost of IRG is Rs. 3,90,000 Crore, made up of Rs. 1,30,000 Crore for WWs and some upstream storages PLUS Rs. 2,60,000 Crore for 65,000 MW of Hydro power units. The revenue from hydro power alone is estimated as Rs. 50,000 Crore. Hence, IRG is self-remunerative from hydro power generation.  IRG is much simpler (does not require the huge balancing waterways as in NWP) and most cost-effective:  As against Rs. 5,35,000 Crore of NWP and 5,60,000 Crores  of NWDA  the estimate for IRG is Rs. 3,90,000 Crore notwithstanding higher power generation, larger irrigation area  and consequently lower cost per acre. 2 major links in NWDA involve pumping requiring large quantum of electricity. Pumping renders the diversion highly unreliable. NWDA proposals involve links in ‘series’, rendering supply to the tail end or last link of the chain quite unreliable and causing delay in conveyance of water. Out of the 34,000 MW ( net of 32,350 MW after power required for pumping) of  power proposed by NWDA, most of the generation is concentrated in North-east, warranting long Transmission lines resulting in huge line losses. As NWDA  links  are located in lower elevations with dense population  and irrigated areas,  Project-displaced persons will be much higher in NWDA & NWP (because of huge balancing reservoirs) compared with IRG proposal.