India is set to divert water from its rivers to deal with a severe drought, a senior minister has told the BBC. Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said transferring water, including from major rivers like the Brahmaputra and the Ganges, to drought-prone areas is now her government’s top priority.
At least 330 million people are affected by drought in India. The drought is taking place as a heat wave extends across much of India, with temperatures in excess of 40C.
The Inter Linking of Rivers (ILR) has 30 links planned for water-transfer, 14 of them fed by Himalayan glaciers in the north of the country and 16 in peninsular India.
Environmentalists have opposed the project, arguing it will invite ecological disaster but the Supreme Court has ordered its implementation.