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The Indian Supreme Court Promotes Interlinking of India's Rivers: Judicial Overreach?

May 2014

Citation: 44 ELR 10348

Issue: 5

Author: Abhimanyu George Jain and Dr. Armin Rosencranz

The much-discussed and oft-criticized Indian interlinking of rivers project, initiated on its own motion by the Supreme Court of India (SC), will involve connecting 37 rivers in India through 30 links and 36 dams. The SC seems to have been motivated by concerns about the disparate regional availability of water in India: while parts of India are host to perennial rivers that frequently flood, other parts have access to surface freshwater resources only during the monsoon and are frequently afflicted by droughts. In this context, the idea of linking India’s rivers to divert waters from areas with a surplus to areas of scarcity seems intuitively desirable.

Abhimanyu George Jain received an LL.M. from Georgetown University in 2013 and a B.A./LL.B. (Hons.) from National Law School of India University in 2011. Dr. Armin Rosencranz is a former faculty member at Stanford University and National Law School of India University, and co-author of "Environmental Law and Policy in India" (ELPI, 3rd ed. forthcoming). ELPI is the standard environmental law casebook in India.

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