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Prosperity and Well-being of Future Generations of South India

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From:
Dakshana Vindhya Rashtra Porata Samithi-USA, Atlanta, GA

H.Q.-Katamanchi
Chitoor District
Andhra Paredesh, India

To:
Sri Narendra ModiJi
Honourable Prime Minister of India
New Delhi

22 June 2017

We would like to bring to your kind attention the various issues pertaining to South India which is also an integral part of this great nation. We earnestly request you to use your untiring energy, popular mandate and great wisdom to solve some of the below specified pressing issues pertaining to South India of which you are well aware.

1)      Inter linking of rivers  (Ganga -Kaveri River Link)

South India is heading for worst-ever drought in history. On 11 Jan 2017, the Tamil Nadu government declared drought in the state, while Karnataka declared drought in 110 out of 177 talukas or administrative units in October. Kerala was declared drought-hit October with the state staring at the worst drought in 115 years. Andhra Pradesh declared 245 mandals in seven districts of the state as drought hit in October. Telangana is the reporting second highest number of farmer suicides in the country.

The permanent solution for the two consistent and recurring problems being faced in India namely 1) frequent droughts in South India in view of the negligible rainfall which resulted in the depletion of the ground water levels 2)  the devastating floods that frequently occur in North India — lies in the linking of the Ganga with the Kaveri river.. This proposal which is again gaining momentum currently , can be a massive poverty alleviating and employment-generating project. Also, it can be designed to achieve higher growth of GDP and per capita GDP and at the same time, solve the burning Kaveri river water dispute.

The master plan which got some publicity during the year 1977 has been gathering dust since then. This plan, if implemented, besides providing irrigational facilities and flood control, will deliver a host of other benefits. Also, all the three sectors namely agriculture, manufacturing and services will be immensely benefited from the project.

Dr K L Rao, based on some earlier work done by the Central Water Commission, proposed a National Water Grid for providing navigation as well as rectifying the spatial disparities between the river basins. His plan envisaged a Ganga-Kaveri link taking off near Patna and passing, en route, through the basins of the Sone, the Narmada, the Tapti, the Godavari, the Krishna, and the Pennar, before joining the Kaveri upstream of the Grand Anicut.

The 2,640 km link involved withdrawal of 1,680 M{+3}/S (60,000 cusecs) of flood flows from the Ganga for about 150 days a year. Out of this, 1,400 M{+3}/S (50,000 cusecs) was to be pumped to the peninsular region and the balance utilised within the Ganga basin itself. The proposal aimed at utilising 2.59 Mham of Ganga waters to irrigate an additional area of 4 Mha.

Today, this basic idea has to be explored and translated into reality taking into account the current needs and developments. In fact, the plan should be devised in such a way that the project links the "soil-rich but poor rainfed" areas such as Bijapur-Gulbarga of north Karnataka and certain backward areas in Telangana state and Royalaseema region in Andhra Pradesh. The existing plans of the National Water Development Agency to link different water basins should also be taken into account.

The master plan involves the construction of dams at appropriate places. But this should be done not only to irrigate vast tracts of land, but also develop different service industries such as tourism etc.

Furthermore, industrial clusters and special development zones should be set up. With the master plan, India can become a major exporter of agricultural products. The various benefits that would be accrued after the successful execution of this project need not be elaborated  at this stage.

Buckingham Canal

After Independence, the disuse and decline of the Buckingham canal was rapid with encroachments and lack of maintenance. The national waterways project as proposed in 2006 and finalised in 2008 planned to develop a national waterway connecting many canals, including the Buckingham canal in the Kakinada–

stretch. However, nothing concrete has come out of this so far. It remains to be seen if the present disaster will lead to a realisation of the need to preserve water systems.

 

The rivers in spate wreaking havoc in Chennai recently were originally gridlocked with the Buckingham canal. For instance, it had a link to the Cooum river and the Adayar river. As cited by Paul Hyland in his book Indian Balm, this had given impetus to business by 1890s, as the canal navigation was continuous via the Godavari and the Krishna systems and the Buckingham canal from 796 km to some way south of Chennai.

1961 Buckingham canal near Hamilton Bridge
Given these issues, we look to your good office to see that this canal is restored to its original glory by clearing off the encroachments etc.

Volatile rainfall

Arthur Cotton’s data on Chennai also pointed out that the city needed better water management system for irrigation as well as to prevent floods caused by fluctuating rains. As per the data available since 1813 for Chennai, in sixty four years, the annual rainfall fluctuated between 88.41 inches in 1827 and 18.45 inches in 1832. The year preceding the lowest fall had 44.35 inches while the year after had 37.11 inches. This volatility in rainfall required the city to be better planned for water management which was provided by the Buckingham canal water system.

3) National Indian Railways

For years, it's been clear that the much-romanticized legacy of British colonial rule, built more than 160 years ago, is badly hobbled by funding shortfalls, aging tracks, outdated signaling and communications systems and a traffic volume that has pushed these systems beyond their limits.

 

India's rail network, the world's third largest, operates more than 12,600 trains carrying passengers and cargo along 115,000 kilometers (71,000 miles) of track. With more than 1.4 million employees, it is the country's largest employer.

Development of railways or density of railway lines is more in North India.

This can be seen by looking at the density of railway network in North. More density in south India will lead to better development for area and movement of people.

 

India’s economy has boomed in recent decades, and dozens of private airlines have emerged to serve the growing upper middle class. But for tens of millions of Indians still living in poverty are unable to afford air travel and trains alone are their transportation lifeline.

 

While high-speed rails are important for the image of India in the world’s eye, but what about south India? The much-needed maintenance and gauge conversions on existing railways as well as the construction of new railways to increase commerce and quality of life in southern India is also very important. Other issues include modernization of railway stations and railway divisions especially in the south. There are already two proposals for bullet trains in north India, so when will these advances and the prosperity they will bring come to those in southern India?

 

 

National Indian Highways

India has a total of 46.90 lakh k with a road density of 1.43 km per square km. While national highways account for 79,116 km, state highways make up 1,55,716 km and the remaining 45.55 lakh km is classified as ‘other roads.’

Ten Amazing Expressways in (North) India

1)      Longest elevated Expressway: Mumbai-Pune Expressway

2)      Jaipur-Kishangarh Expressway

3)      Ahmedabad-Vadodara Expressway

4)      Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway

5)      Western Expressway

6)      Eastern Expressway

7)      Yamuna Expressway

8)      Dankuni-Palsit Expressway

9)      Allahabad-Bypass Expressway

10)  Noida-Greater Noida Expressway

While these are, indeed, impressive roadways worthy of international attention, they are also all in northern India. And the same can be said for the top 10 longest highways:

1)      NH 7 (Varanasi to Kanyakumari) – 2,369 km

2)      NH 6 (hajira to Kolkata) – up to 1,949 km

3)      NH 5 (Odisha to Chennai temil Nadu) – 1,533 km

4)      NH15 (Gujarat, samakhaiali to Punjab pathankot) – 1,526 km

5)      NH 2 (passes through Delhi, Haryana, uttar pradesh, Bihar, jharkhand, and west Bengal) – 1,465 km

6)      NH8 (Delhi to Mumbai) – 1,428 km

7)      NH 17 (Panel, Maharashtra to Cochin, Kerala) – 1269 km

8)      NH 4 (Mumbai to Tamil Nadu, Chennai) – 1,235 km

9)      NH 3 (Agra to Mumbai) – 1,190 km

NH 31 (barhi, Jharkhand to Jalukbari, Guwahati) – 1,125 km

4) Supreme Court Bench Needed in South India

India is a vast country with a population of 120 crore. However, the Supreme court has been located in Delhi which is on the extreme  northern side of the country.

"It is unfair that  a poor person from the south has to spend a huge amount of money to file a case in the Supreme Court. Not only that he often has to engage a person about whom he knows nothing about in a far of land and base his choice on hearsay and rumours about reputation.

“Delay in disposal of cases, not only creates disillusionment amongst the litigants, but also undermines the capability of the system to impart justice in an efficient and effective manner,” former Honourable Supreme Court judge BN Agarwal had said.

Separate bench in South India

In view of the heavy pendency of cases in  Supreme court and also the enormous hardship being faced by the litigant public of South India, it is better to constitute more benches in South India. We request to constitute the following benches to be located as follows which would greatly improve the dispensation of justice. However, the appropriate authorities in their wisdom to have a Supreme court bench for each state in South India, it is more welcome.

·         Andhra Pradesh and Telangana -one supreme court bench

·         Talimandu, Punducherry and Kereala states- one supreme court bench

·         Kanataka state- one supreme court bench

5)      Energy Resources

Natural Gas
As per the Ministry of petroleum, Government of India, India has 1,437 billion cubic metres (50.7×1012  cu ft) of confirmed natural gas reserves as of April 2010. A huge mass of India’s natural gas production comes from the western offshore regions, particularly the Mumbai High complex. The onshore fields in Assam, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat states are also major producers of natural gas. As per EIA data, India produced 996 billion cubic feet (2.82×10 10  m 3 ) of natural gas in 2004.

As in the oil sector, India’s state-owned companies account for the bulk of natural gas production. ONGC and Oil India Ltd. (OIL) are the leading companies with respect to production volume, while some foreign companies take part in upstream developments in joint-ventures and production sharing contracts. Reliance Industries, a privately owned Indian company, will also have a bigger role in the natural gas sector as a result of a large natural gas find in 2002 in the Krishna Godavari basin. The Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) holds an effective control on natural gas transmission and allocation activities. In December 2006, the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas issued a new policy that allows foreign investors, private domestic companies, and Government oil companies to hold up to 100% equity stakes in pipeline projects. While GAIL’s domination in natural gas transmission and allocation is not ensured by statute, it will continue to be the leading player in the sector because of its existing natural gas infrastructure.

Andhra Pradesh with a production of 1364 and Tamilnadu with a production of 1285 are the two major contributors out of India’s total production of 9084 (Onshore production 2011) Although this is 29.2% of the country’s onshore production, all major infrastructures for processing and distribution are centered around Mumbai and Ahmedabad. The following enclosure reveals the PNG & CNG activities state wise. It is an indication that the gas from the KG Basin is carried off by Reliance Industries to Ahmedabad without first meeting the requirements of the area where it is produced.

Nuclear
India’s proven nuclear reserves include Uranium, Thorium.

Uranium
In 2007, India was able to extract 229 tons of U 3 O 8 from its soil. On 19 July 2011, Indian officials announced that the Tumalapalli mine in Kadapa District in Andhra Pradesh state  could provide more than 150,000 tons of uranium, making it as the world’s largest uranium mine.

The Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) recently discovered that the upcoming mine in Tumalapalli has close to 49,000 tons of confirmed uranium reserves. This could just be a shot in the arm for India’s nuclear power aspirations as it is three times the original estimate of the area’s deposits.

Thorium
The IAEA’s 2005 report estimates India’s reasonably assured reserves of thorium at 319,000 tons, but mentions recent reports of India’s reserves at 650,000 tons.

A government of India estimate, shared in the country’s Parliament in August 2011, puts the recoverable reserve at 846,477 tons.

The Honourable Minister of State V. Narayanasamy stated that as of May 2013, the country’s thorium reserves were 11.93 million tons (monazite, having 9-10% ThO 2 ), with a significant majority (8.59 Mt; 72%) found in the three eastern coastal states of Andhra Pradesh (3.72 Mt; 31%), Tamil Nadu (2.46 Mt; 21%) and Odisha (2.41 Mt; 20%). Both the IAEA and OECD appear to conclude that India may possess the largest share of world’s thorium deposits.

 It must be ensured that the above resources are utilized first to meet the energy demands of the producing states and only the excess can be utilized elsewhere in the country.

PNG & CNG Activities

It is time that enough Gas processing and distribution infrastructure is developed in the region of production and the disparities be removed.

Electricity Generation

The Electricity generation for the south is as follows (in MW)
Coal – 36442.50
Gas – 6473.66
Diesel – 917.48
Nuclear – 2320.00
Hydro – 11558.03
RES (MNRE) – 18154.12
Total - 75865.79 MW

Of the above, coal and diesel make up 37359.98 MW. These materials are well known pollutants and hence alternative means of electricity production should be encouraged.

Keeping in mind the future demands for electric power, it is time now for setting up of units to generate 70000 MW of electric power using either Gas, Nuclear or Renewable energy technologies. At the same time, the coal and diesel based technologies should be phased out.

In closing, it is imperative to note that while South India provides rich resources to the entire country, its businesses and citizens are not receiving their proper share of the benefits from such endeavors. Additional efforts are needed to help improve tourism and I.I.T.s (which number more greatly in the north than south), which have been neglected to this day. We look to your good office and disposition to eliminate the above disparities and consider our reasonable requests with positive action so that the whole country will flourish and shine on the world stage.

Yours faithfully,

M.G. Reddy

M. Gnanendra Reddy Ex M.P. Chitoor A.P.

Convener

Dakshana Vindhya Rashtra Porata Samithi

Kattamanchi, Chitoor, Andhra Pradesh



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