Interbasin Water Transfer


One of the most effective ways to increase the irrigation potential for increasing the food grain production, mitigate floods and droughts and reduce regional imbalance in the availability of water is the Inter Basin Water Transfer (Inter Basin Water Transfer) from the surplus rivers to deficit areas. There are 12 inter-basin transfer links made /proposed in the basin, out of which 10 links falls under Himalayan component and most of its data is classified and two Peninsular Components as shown here.


The Himalayan component envisages construction of storage reservoirs on the main river Ganga and its principal tributaries in India to conserve monsoon flows for irrigation and hydro-power generation, besides flood control. Links will transfer surplus flows of the Kosi, Gandak and Ghagra to the west. In addition, the links will augment dry-weather flow of the river Ganga. Surplus flows that will become available on account of inter-linking of the Ganga and the Yamuna are proposed to be transferred to the drought prone areas of Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat. The ten Himalayan Components of Ganga basin is given below:

  • Kosi-Ghaghara Link: The 428.76 km long link, which will start from the right side of the Chatra barrage, will fall in the Gaura river, a tributary of the Chaghara river, in Uttar Pradesh after  crossing over the Tiljuga, the Khanro, the Bagmati and the Lalbakkeya rivers in Nepal and the river Gandak in Bihar. The receiving capacity will be 1021 cumecs while it will discharge 67 cumecs in Gaura river. The total benefited area through this link canal is 10.58 lakh hectares. Out of this 8.17 lakh hectare and 0.67 lakh hectare area of North Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, respectively.

  • Gandak-Ganga Link: The 639 km long link canal, which would start from the right side of the proposed dam across Gandak river in Nepal, will fall in Ganga river near Mustafabad in Rai Bareli district of Uttar Pradesh. It will run through Nepal and various districts of Uttar Pradesh.

  • Ghaghara-Yamuna Link: The Ghagra-Yamuna link project is an inter-dependent link under the Himalayan Component of NPP. A study reveals that the Ghagra river (known as Karnali in Nepal) at the proposed the Chisapani dam site has surplus water. It is proposed that the existing requirement of water for the Sarda Sahayak Pariyojna, Saryu Nahar Pariyojna and various pump canals would be met from the proposed Gandak - Ganga link project and the water saved thereby could be diverted from the proposed Chisapani reservoir through the Ghagra - Yamuna link canal. The height of proposed dam is 175 m. A regulating dam downstream of the Chisapani dam is proposed with a full reservoir level of 200 m and a minimum drawdown level 193 m. The link canal shall join Yamuna river in Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh. The total length of the link canal would be about 417 km with its depth varying from 8 m in the head reach to 5 m in the tail reach and the width varying from 85.5 m in the head reach to 18 m towards the tail end.

  • Sarda-Yamuna Link: This link canal is planned to divert 17,906 MCM water of Himalayan rivers. Its length will be 1,835 km out of which 75 km will be in Gujarat State. A total of 4 states, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Gujarat, are to be benefited by this link. About 1,627 MCM water has been allocated to North Gujarat which is only 9 percent of the total divertible water at the canal head.

  • Yamuna-Rajasthan Link: The Yamuna-Rajasthan link proposal is an extension of the proposed Sarda-Yamuna Link beyond the Yamuna to provide irrigation to the drought prone areas of Haryana and Rajasthan. It envisages diversion of 8,657 MCM of water from the Sarda basin at Purnagiri. The Yamuna - Rajasthan link is to take off from the right bank of proposed Yamuna barrage and passes through the Karnal, Sonipat, Jind, Hisar and Bhiwani districts of Haryana and Churu, Hanumangarh, Ganganagar, Bikaner, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer districts of Rajasthan and ends on the Jaisalmer-Hamira-Shri Mohangarh Road at a distance of 4.5 km from village Kanod towards Jaisalmer. The length of the link canal is 786 km, out of which 196 km lies in Haryana and the rest 590 km in Rajasthan. The Yamuna - Rajasthan link will provide an annual irrigation of 244,200 ha in the districts of Ganganagar, Bikaner, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer of Rajasthan.

  • Chunar-Sone Barrage Link: The 149.10 km long canal will start from the right side of Ganga river near Chunar Tehsil of Mirzapur district in Uttar Pradesh. It will fall into the Sone river near Indrapuri barrage in Rohtas district. There would be a lift of 38.8 meters, 16.10 meters and 4.4 meters at three different places on route. In addition to stabilizing substantial command areas of Western Sone high level and low level canals, this link canal will provide irrigation in 66,793 hectares of new area in Mirzapur, Varanasi and Gazipur districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bhabhua, Rohtas, Buxar and Bhojpur districts of Bihar.

  • Sone Dam-Southern tributaries of Ganga Link: The 339 km long canal will begin from the right side of the proposed dam across the Sone river near Kadwan in Jharkhand. The canal would fall into the Badua river after crossing over the Morhar, the Lilajan, the Dharmajayi, the Sakri and the Kiul rivers. Two hydal projects of 3.5 MW and 1.5 MW capacities would be finalised near the junction of the Sakri river. The total benefited area through this link canal will be 3.07 lakh hectares in the districts of Patna, Nalanda, Gaya, Jehanabad, Munger, Bhagalpur, Nawada, Jamui and Aurangabad of Bihar and Palamu district of Jharkhand.

  • Manas-Sankosh-Tista-Ganga Link: Interlinking of the Brahmaputra with the Ganga, the Subernarekha and the Mahanadi is proposed to transfer waters of the Brahmaputra to benefit areas in Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand. This link envisages diversion of surplus water from Manas and Sankosh rivers in the Brahmaputra basin to augment flows of the Ganga upstream of Farakka. For this link high dams are proposed at Manas and Sankosh with storage capacities of 8.75 BCM and 4.93 BCM, respectively. The 114 km long link canal between Manas and Sankosh will have a discharge capacity of 3,725 cubic meters per second. Beyond Sankosh and up to the Teesta barrage, the link canal is 137 km long with a capacity of 1,092 cubic meters per second.

  • Farakka-Sunderbans Link: The Farakka-Sunderbans Link will join Ganga river (Farakka Barrage) to Sunderban Delta in West Bengal.

  • Ganga-Damodar-Subernarekha Link: The Ganga-Damodar-Subernarekha Link will join the Ganga to Subernarekha river.


The Ken-Betwa Link and Parbati-Kalisindh-Chambal Link are two peninsular inter-basin transfer links that falls in Ganga basin.

  • Ken-Betwa Link:  This link will cover a length of about 231 km. and provide irrigation in the downstream of proposed Daudhan dam, water short areas of Upper Betwa basin by way of substitution and also irrigate areas of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. It will also provide domestic and industrial water needs of 12 MCM, besides an installed capacity of 72 MW of power. About 37 MCM will be used for meeting the transmission losses of the canal. NWDA has already completed the feasibility study of this link. About 8,550 people shall be affected in ten villages by implementation of this link.

  • Parbati-Kalisindh-Chambal Link: Parbati-Kalisindh-Chambal link project envisages the diversion of surplus waters of Parbati and Kalisindh sub-basins to Gandhisagar dam /Rana Pratap Sagar dam across Chambal river. The water will be utilized for irrigation in the new command areas enroute the link canal & the existing command of Chambal system at Kota barrage. A population of 27,055 people in 65 villages is likely to be affected by implementation of this link.

(Source: India-WRIS)