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The Krishna and Godavari are two major rivers of peninsular India that originate in the Western Ghats and flow eastward into the Bay of Bengal. The two rivers have a combined basin area of about 25% of the country’s landmass and support the livelihoods of millions of people in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. However, the sharing of the waters of these rivers has been a contentious issue among the riparian states for decades. One of the major disputes arose due to the diversion of more water at Koyna by the Maharashtra government for a multipurpose project. The Koyna is a tributary of the Krishna river that joins it near Karad in Maharashtra. The Koyna dam was built in 1963 to generate hydroelectric power and provide irrigation water to parts of Maharashtra. However, this reduced the downstream flow of the Krishna river, affecting the water availability in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The two states objected to the unilateral action of Maharashtra and demanded a fair allocation of the Krishna water among the basin states.
What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of multipurpose projects on rivers? (2 marks)
Answer by Student
- Hydropower generation: These projects can harness the energy of flowing water to generate electricity, providing a renewable and relatively clean source of energy.