Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sillunu Oru Kaadal…..

       Early on a Sunday morning I woke up hearing my mobile shouting the reminder. It was 7 AM and 7 of us at 70 kmph roared on mount road. Our destination: Satyam theater.

        I am neither writing a review of the movie or explaining the story for I feel the best way to experience the masterpiece is to watch it for oneself. The movie is so complete, perfect at all angles like a sphere, that leaves me bewildered where to start.

        I humbly agree, I’m not a movie buff, but this movie is very different in all perspectives, it’s introducing a very new concept in Tamil cinema. For those senile critics who lament the death of classical movies in Tamil industry, this is rejuvenation, a perfectly classical love story. But wait! Don’t retire with prejudice, this is yet again different in its genre and I’m here to explain it why.

         If a movie with no villain, no hero – charisma building theme, no soap opera, no background motivating factor, no bottom line, no slapstick elements, no caricature and most importantly, no climax.. could make it to the big screen, then it’s definitely one and only Sillunu oru kaadhal.

            Every frame in the movie is so complete and each one of it reflects the entire movie, its very complex to explain, it’s the hologram concept. Every moment blooms with love and the story elegantly sticks to its genre – romance.

            I’m a person who wouldn’t fall too soon for any hero and after remaining for 20 years as a fan of nobody, it’s a puzzle when I retired as such an ardent fan of Surya. Certainly this magnificent role adds yet another feather to his hat as a rounded personality and as a classical actor. He performs so naturally, that we never feel he’s an actor; it’s like watching everything for real. Jyothika appears as the ‘goddess of beauty’ throughout the film. I don’t find words to describe her beauty, yet her matured acting and equanimous handling of the character surfeits it! The little ‘3 roses’ girl demonstrates acting to impeccability.

             The roles for every character are perfectly tailored to consummacy; cinematography is unbeatable and the song ‘New York Nagaram’ would be a visual treat for any photographer other than being a dulcet. All the credit goes to the director Krishna, whom I’m not sure but my IAS friend confirmed to be a fresher. Definitely the best to debut into the celluloid world as a classical director amidst all those run of the mill commercial, frivolous, soporific fellows.

            Relax!, I’m coming to the story. It’s actually quite complex to explain yet simple. It’s not kind of one where the Romeo runs the entire world around doing all impossible stunts for Joliet. It’s about love in a family amidst a couple. Wait, it’s not like Alaipayuthey depicting everyday complications, but revolves on a more serious theme, faith and relentless love.

           What leaves me dumbfounded is the reality of the movie; definitely the odd mad out of Kollywood, it plays romance and love with utmost reality. In an era where big budget movies thrive on infidelity, this one which is about ultimate faith & supreme love in a family shines like a ‘lotus out of gutter’.

            The entire movie shows a nuclear family satiated with unconditional love, affection, passion with so much reality; something what everyone would ache for. It is a movie which wouldn’t get outdated – typically a classical trait – one which the entire family can kick back and enjoy on a Sunday afternoon.

            If only I get a chance, I would request the censor board to display the warning “ If you are in love and broke up, don’t watch this film” for there is a greater possibility that you might break into tears every frame for it shows love at its best – in a family.

            Although my friends were a little disappointed with Vadivel and the Sakala Vs Ragala guy doing only cameos, I feel this movie sports the best way to bring out laughter out of audience – with decent humour interlaced with storyline – in everyday events – by the protagonists – typically a classical trait. I see this ability of obviating farce elements only in this director after the maestro Mani Rathnam. The music – it’s AR Rahman the ‘Mozarat of Mardas’ – at one of his masterpieces in melody.

             I look forward a chance to meet the director for he, in this beautiful work which shows the practical way for eternal bliss in married life – in just the way I believed – through paramount faith, respect and unconditional love – the quintessence of Tamil culture.

             My heartfelt wishes for my Surya and Jyothika (my vote as the best actress) without whom this movie wouldn’t exist, for a married life, simply the way they relished in Sillunu Oru Kaadhal.

            All is said well, but the acceptance of this movie as a block buster is dubious as not many were enjoying it in the theatre. An era in which stereotyped storyline, spicy cosmetic heroism, unrealistic themes, infidelity, gaudy glamour, farce humour, vulgarity and violence only deem the throne, it becomes apparent that this beautiful classical work is destined a turbulent career; a clear harbinger for the death of classics in culture. What a pitiable fact.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

My first air travel

        It should be 5:30 AM on Thursday; mom was waking me up frantically, I was about to encounter the most fantastic experience in my life.. Gd was going to fly! How great, right from my puerile days, till today as a Geo-technologist, I had always yearned for a chance to fly.
I made my best efforts to be on time for the check in. Nevertheless it had become my modus operandi. I was the last to get the boarding pass. Finishing the final security checks, I settled on a couch in the middle of the deserted Coimbatore airport. It was (as usual) silent, calm without anything much happening. Then came a roar announcing the arrival of DN 126, the plane which was going to satisfy my erstwhile desires.

            There was an immediate queue; Gd made his best work to line in, alas, this time too, he was the last. This gave me some time to look around the metallic bird. It was a dilapidated American cargo carrier reaching its obsolescence. But the fact that, even this plane could transcend me was quite enigmatic.
Entering the aircraft last, I found only the last seat empty (happily it was a window seat). A cherubic doll from China came walking toward me. She was the airhostess, gave instructions to wear the seatbelts and using the floatation devices. The plane gave a jerk and started taxiing on the runway. The thrust was enormous and within minutes we were airborne. The sight of trees and buildings becoming miniaturized was spectacular. The doll was still near me, waiting to say something. I was the closest to the emergency exit and asked if I would volunteer to use it in case of emergency. Gd expressing his gallantry immediately accepted. She demonstrated the lifting and pulling mechanism. Exhibiting my propensity towards pragmatism, I too acted the same way showing her how I would pull. Nooo….. she screamed getting alarmed thinking I was pulling it.. she pulled my hand back. Gd comforted her saying that he was demonstrating back.
The plane made a constant acclivity. Rustic landscape, settling mist, mild morning sun, flocking bird groups, the pastoral Coimbatore district is a glee to look at. Once again, I felt penitent for not possessing a cam. I looked around at the people nearby. I was the only youngster. My neighbor much like CEG Dean, opened the first page in Deccan Airways magazine showing absolutely no interest in peeping out. I continued to delve through the window wondering how people could be so stolid.

         I saw the mother river of TN – Cauvery. Gosh, how wide was it!. The sight of it meandering was magnificent. Following it came the Mettur Stanley reservoir brim full. Several tributaries of the river were crisscrossing the farmlands in between. The pattern of development of urban areas around the river bank was immediately apparent. Urban sprawl and so many other concepts came reminiscing.

         I had plugged in my MP3 player (my sister gifted me) and was lost gazing through the window. I had the similar feeling; the lass was staring at me waiting to ask something. This time it was snacks. I gave her a chivalrous nod saying no, wondering if I had so much time to afford munching. There was a sudden turbulence and the plane jerked. My seat was adjacent to the massive propeller and I had weird hallucinations of the fans tearing down and I operating the emergency exit. There was another pitching and the plane ascended further more. The pilot announced us flying at 19,000 feet. A milky flow of clouds filled the window encumbering my remote sensing. We had been flying for 45 min now.

           The eastern ghats appeared like little mounds. Suddenly there was a huge green irregular pie. It was the Dindugul hills with cute hill resorts atop. I could see small milky falls at the sides of the mountains. The formation of several geological features were so conspicuous. Every geo informatics student should get a chance to make an air travel.
Another 20 minutes we reached the coastline of Chennai, the long Marina beach, Adyar river making its estuary, gentle waves in the ocean made a pleasurable sight. The pilot took us deep into the ocean before taking a turn. Then a sharp roll, we made a right turn. The ocean surface which had hitherto been silky gradually turned into a leathery texture with the sun put to my right. The transition was so spectacular, just like light entering gradually from a rotating polarizer; light accreting from a bulb attached to a rheostat.
Then some more rolls, we were circling above the ocean without permission to land. We flew over small fishing boats, large ocean liners carrying coal, oil and a large passenger ship. Finally the announcement to wear the seatbelt was made. I was still wearing the fetter from the beginning lost in my first air travel.

               DN 126 made a roaring, swift descent as it took me over the massive city. I could make out the harbour, the Chepak Stadium, the AIR tower measuring 229m ( it was my practical exam last time, I measured it using the radial spreading phenomena with a single aerial photo), the Triplicane MRTS junction, the Police HQ, Loyala college grounds. How much used had I become to this city.. it is just a span of 3 years since I had been to Chennai.
As we flew lower, I could see the bright shining golf ball.. It was the magnificent dome of College of Engineering, looking like an edifice. Hurray, I could even hear my Environmental prof. murmuring his lecture. It would be only a ‘stone throw distance’ we crossed the St. Thomas mount landing on the Kamaraj Domestic airport.

           The airhostess resuscitated the sleeping passengers. Like the rule of the thumb, I was the last to get down, this got me the opportunity to talk with the pilot. I congratulated him for making the travel so pleasurable and requested him to make more interesting comments while flying.

           The cab took us around the runway into the airport. Not bothering where others are going, I made a beeline to the restroom. Another surprise, five counters and half a dozen men queuing up in each with distorted faces, showing the peak of their patience. Typically Chennai, I wondered how free would my city be!

            Gd stood before a conveyer belt waiting for his bag. Some fifty bags passed by, I didn’t find mine. Frustrated I moved a little only to find 6 more similar conveyer belts. Gosh! How do I find mine? I searched frenzied for my dean (err.. he’s Mr. Deanlike). At last found him in the last near a display board showing DN 126. Relief. I felt how confusing would it be for an unsuspecting passenger! Typically Chennai.

          My little blue bag made its debut. Unlike its owner, the bag was the first to arrive on the belt (perhaps because it was the smallest of all bags). I picked up the little buddy and walked out modestly, ending my first air travel.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Colour of Sound

Sounds and music are quite unique when compared to pictures and movies. The fact being that, whenever we listen to a song or music, we cannot have a wholesome view of it. But in the case of a picture we can instantaneously look at the entire picture. And if it’s a movie, we can instantaneously view the images of all frames to get this wholesome view. We can keep on looking at the pictures or frames (in the case of movies) without any time limit. This ability allows painters, cinematographers, photographers to analyze the theme without haste.
Consider sound, this is utterly impossible since the theory of uncertainty spoils the soup. One can listen to only one frame at an instant and while listening to one particular frame, the previous or next cannot be listened. So one has to compulsorily listen through the entire length if at all he needs to get a wholesome picture.
Is there any means to capture the entire length of a song and display it instantaneously?
Well, I have an idea. Let us start the analysis with Carnatic music. There are seven stable pitches (frequencies called swaram). All the possible tunes (ragas) are composed with the maximum of these seven frequencies. Similarly there are seven colours in a spectrum (the rainbow VIBGYOR). What if we represent each of the frequency with each of the colours in the spectrum?
I’ll elaborate. Now its clear that there are seven frequencies (pitches or swaras) namely Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Tha, Ne, SA. Hence we can very easily equate each of the seven colours Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet to the seven frequencies. When u look closely, u can see a similarity. As the pitches ascend from Sa to SA, the frequency increases and likewise from Red to Violet the frequency increases making cyber computation easier.
Now for the amplitude of loudness of sound, we can use intensity value. Thus more the amplitude, the more is the intensity or brightness of the colour.
This is it, the prototype is complete. Let us apply this logic. The vocalist starts singing making a lot of variation in frequency and amplitude as the song proceeds. We start encoding the song as pixels of colour. The sampling frequency can be adjusted accordingly, we can choose one pixel for one millisecond or the user wishes.
Once the song is completed, the picture would truly be a modern art (sarcastic). As the vocalist stretches a word, the colour in the picture also stretches. As the artist breaks a line with a pause, the row in the picture ends creating a new row. This proceeds for the entire song creating a wonderful picture called the “colour of sound”.
But we have a shortcoming; this logic is applicable only to uni-track music. Meaning this logic can encode only the sound that comes out of the vocalist. If it’s a pop music which should contain numerous instruments (both real and synthetic) our logic fails bitterly. Wait, there is a solution; we can encode each of the track (instrument) separately and later we can superpose all the images into one without loosing the layers; creating the popular ‘image with layers’ or layered imagery.
Then for the lyrics, we can fix alphabets in each of the pixel. Its quite obvious that when we sample the sound at the rate of milliseconds as one pixel, the words would be in alphabetical form. That’s it. Ur favourite music track is now looking like a picture.

Any invention is useless unless it has substantial applications. Let me unroll my list. I am sure, you will be left awe struck.
1. Dynamically new compression logic. Consider a music track with 5 instruments other than the vocalist that runs for 5 min. Lets sample the music at the rate of 10 pixels per second. This creates 3000 pixels and six times of it. Considering 8 bits for each pixel the pictures requires only 17.57 Kilo bytes..! far far better than MP3 right !
2. Secrecy. With encryption techniques grown to sky heights, imagine how all could this piece of picture be played with creating an ultimately esoteric information that smoothly unfolds to a music track (or a clandestine dialogue) only for the informed yet simply remains to be some sort of a chaotic picture for the uninformed.
3. Finally, best of all the applications, we can make the deaf merrily transcend into the beautiful world of sounds and music just by looking at the ‘colour of sound’ picture. Ya if suitably trained to interpret the picture as sound, a deaf person can really LISTEN to music as he looks into the picture engrossed.

Sound is indeed colourful!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

3 Patriotic movies in a row..

It's been quite a long time, and after a lull I am back. Last week was quite a peaceful stretch, no classes and with ultimately nothing to do I took all my time to analyze three great movies. Pardon me for I am watching these must watch ones too late. But I am no way here to compare them. They are of different genre and would loose their essence if I did.
The first movie was Mangel Pandey - The Rising. Wow, what an endeavour. I was left spellbound looking at the grandeur of the sets and choreography. It is yet another ratification by Amir Khan to claim that we are on par with Hollywood. The uniforms, shacks, palaces all were so exotic. I truly find the necessity to appreciate the arduous task. I could not find a speck of modern day gadget any where in the studio sets.
I can blindly commit that the movie is strictly by history. At times we are left with a bewildered situation in finding who the protagonist is, whether its Pandey or General Garten. There are a lot of unexpected twists, like in a scene where Mangel Pandey and General Garten fight to save a young woman from Sati, we expect Mangel Pandey being the hero to rescue her and guard her. But it happens the other way round, General Garten gallops away and lives with her. Moreover there are scenes where we are tempted to expect the hero to admonish caste based discrimination, but the hero chastises the scavenger for bumping on him. Finally at the prosecution scene, we are left disappointed. Watching the courage of the hero all through the movie, we expect him to jump out and start the revolt, but he gets hanged with a cry.
Once again I wish to reiterate that the movie is strictly by history. The image of Pandey is of a no superhero. My heart felt appreciation for Amir Khan for he has broken the trend of every hero which had hitherto been followed. Khan has willingly sacrificed his charisma to General Garten's character. And this is why we doubt who the real hero is. All through the movie he remains to be an innocent with the limited knowledge of the sepoy. We should not question the extent of patriotism the movie brings in us, for it's a movie made to reminisce our nation's history.
Coming to the essence of the movie, the hero detests hypocrisy. Interpreting his act in modern day terms, it looks like
if we were to vote and select our chief (based on their election manifesto), we
should be the first person to dethrone him/her if he/she fails to accomplish the

Well, I am not going to expatiate. I'd make the rest two short and crisp. My next movie was SWADES. A slow and smooth movie, without any blood shed or the usual trite we encounter in every patriotic movie. The hero (obviously Sharuk Khan) is a typical NRI. He returns to India to take back his maid after he looses his parents. Coming home he finds the whole village uncouth. Here again there is a reversed heroism, the female lead character (Amrita Arora as Geetha who appears incredibly beautiful all through the movie) professes patriotism and tries to preach the hero. Finally the hero who is a top scientist in NASA detours for India to work for this mother nation.
Now for the essence of the movie,
"How would you allow the lamp from your house to light your neighbour's when
your own home is at destitute"
This is for every NRI who comes across my blog, make up a point that you would definitely do something substantial for your mother nation. Although Arora looks grim and serious throughout, she has definitely made an impact. While almost every woman in bollywood indulges in flesh show, this lady has broken the trend. She looks simply amazing in her conservative clothes. It kindles reverence in me.

The last movie is "The Patriot". Starring Mel Gibson who appears as a retired soldier works in his farm when America is being raided by the British. He has seven children and like any father he wishes to raise them in a society that is free from war and its holocaust. There appears a situation where the American nation requires every one of its male task force to join the army. Despite being a veteran soldier, Gibson declines to join the army citing the war to be unnecessary. But when he looses his second eldest son, he determines to show the British who Americans are in a brutal way. He makes an army of peasants and eventually wins over his land.
Although the main stress of the movie was on the war, I found a court scene, where Gibson states his superior ideal. He claims that
"it's equally the duty of a patriot to rescue the nation from extorting rulers.
A patriot has the duty of overthrowing the chief of his nation if found guilty".
I find this quite alarming. But ironically, for the rest of the movie, not a word is said about this. I accept, this is a very provocative statement but it leaves me with a awe. Even the most powerful media (Hollywood) of the most powerful nation (USA) remains TONGUE TIED.

What does the present day require? A savior? A messiah? Definitely not. It requires a citizen who is committed, honest, and does not work against his conscience. How can one be like this? Simple, don't be a delinquent, pay your taxes regularly, respect your nation and devote at least a part your goals for the development of your nation. I would be completely satiated and elated if everyone who reads this article reply in comment that he/she would be committed for his/her nation.

Sunday, January 08, 2006


A holistic approach

Since 1970 till today, the objective, methodology and feasibility of Interlinking Indian Rivers remains to be a controversial subject. Albeit the Indian Government claims this multi million project to be a panacea to incessant floods in North India and eternal drought in the southern parts of the country, several critics argue relentlessly that this project is unscrupulous and hence would lead to large scale environmental and financial repercussions.
In this poster, I analyze in an unbiased manner the positive and negative aspects of this proposed project in terms of Technical, Environmental, Financial, Socio Economic and Political aspects and I also suggest some of the most feasible alternatives.

India is blessed with abundant water resources, which are unevenly distributed in space and time. When one part of the country is reeling under severe water scarcity, floods damage another part. India experiences extremes of climate within the 329 M ha of geographical area. Mean annual rainfall varies from 100 mm in western Rajasthan to over 11000 mm at Cherrapunji in Meghalaya (Indian Water Resources Society, 1994). Flood prone areas of 40 M ha and Drought prone areas of 51 M ha are being affected in India. Some rivers are perennially dry and some rivers discharge huge quantum of water to the sea every year. Hence a massive task like Interlinking of rivers by which surplus and deficits to be redistributed appears to be the best cure.

About Interlinking of Rivers
Chief Purpose:
Primarily to transfer the surplus flood waters of Himalayan Rivers which would otherwise drain as waste into the ocean to the drought prone areas of peninsular India, thus creating a win-win situation.

The project envisages
  • Constructing a network of contour canals 0.12 x 0.01 x 14,900 km in dimension.
  • Using 10,000 MW of electricity for lifting the water over highlands
  • Constructing 200 and more reservoirs for water storage and transfers.
  • Spending Rs.5,60,000 crores on the whole
Rivers Linked:
The project as such connects Ganga, Bhramaputra, Mahanadhi, Godavari, Krishna and finally Cauvery. The navigable water ways are classified as Himalayan waterways 4,500 km long and connecting all tributaries of Ganga and Brahmaputra. Central Waterways 5,750 km long and connecting the southern tributaries of Ganga with Mahanadi, Narmada, Tapti, etc.
Southern Waterways 4,650 km long and connecting Godavari, Krishna, Kaveri and some west flowing rivers of the western coastal strip. It is planned to be completed and operated by 2016. Supreme Court sanctioned a construction time of 12 years.

Positive Aspects – Pros
The following are the positive aspects we would encounter at the consummation of the project.
  • Removal of natural imbalance in rainfall distribution (geographic and temporal)

  • Increase in irrigation – additional 35 million hectares providing 173 BCM.

  • Surface irrigation – 25 Million hectare

  • Ground water irrigation – 10 Million hectare

  • Increase in food grain production to meet 3 folds increase in population, ensuring food security.

  • Increase growth rates of GDP

  • Hydro electric power generation up to 34,000 MW

  • Inland navigation – cheap and non polluting river transport

  • Employment generation.

  • Alleviation of flood and drought problems.

  • Increase in forest cover form 13% to 33%

Problems - Cons
Although the project appears to be a well wisher and a savior for the whole nation, the sheer massiveness and the superficial design of the present project could cause untellable and irreversible changes to the geomorphology of the peninsula. The following section throws light on the inadequacy of planning in terms of its after math.


  • Transfer of 1500 cumec (cubic meters per second) form Ganga would not be sufficient to control floods since the normal discharge in Ganga, Bhramaputra, Mahanadhi range form 30,000 to 60,000 cumecs - defeats the objective of flood control.

  • During spate in Ganga and Bhramaputra , even reservoirs would overflow

  • Electric power required to pump water at usable rates is very close to that presently generated nation-wide,

  • As an alternative canals should go around mountains in a circuitous route – causing still greater evacuations.

When rivers are stopped by dams, they deposit their entire content of transported and suspended materials. These materials are often boulders, pebbles and valuable minerals that are essential as natural bio available nutrients for plants. Thus when rivers flow downstream form the dams they are virtually devoid of any nutrient content. Moreover stream flow that lacks transported material would have higher hydraulic gradient enhancing its erosive power.
Thus these alterations could be felt as
Huge dams – near total removal of suspended sediment load form streams.
  • Prevention of fertile soil sedimentation on flood plains.

  • Bio-available nutrients – removed along with settling silt

  • Irrigation water gets nutrient depleted

  • Extensive use of chemical fertilizers to compensate – causes water pollution

  • Dams deprive natural sediments off the streams and increase the hydraulic gradient locally

  • Hence stream water has higher erosive power causing bank erosion

Floods had always been a common scenario in India. Floods did one of several beneficiary actions like creation of flood plains which were typically places of intense agriculture in olden days. Banks of rivers were historically the places where civilization was born. The satellite picture (right) shows the development of flood plains along the course of R.Pennar in Tamil Nadu. (The bounding red line follows the course of river on both sides)
Thus prophylactic measures on floods stop
  • Creation of fertile plains through deposition of nutrient rich sediments

  • Annual removal of agricultural water, toxins

  • Recharge ground water in flood plains and deltas which already over exploit ground water to maintain agriculture.
Impacts on the coastline
There has always been a equilibrium between the amount of sediment deposited by the rivers on the coast and the amount materials eroded by the tides and ocean currents. Indian rivers are few of those in the world which have the highest amount of sediment transport and all of them drain into the Bay of Bengal. Yet the coastline has been constant depicting the intensity of the tides and littoral currents. Thus
  • Damming rivers cuts down sediment supply resulting in coastal and delta erosion

  • Under the long run, cumulative effects of coastal erosion, sea level due to global warming would cause large scale sea transgressions, where major cities are situated.

Effects on Bay of Bengal
As said earlier, BOB has about seven large rivers draining a huge quantum of fresh water. This has contributed to a low-salinity layer that helps in maintenance of high sea-surface temperature. This aids in the formation of intense monsoons. But damming the rivers would inevitably reduce the amount of drainage, leading to an increase in salinity. This becomes a chain reaction reducing the intensity of monsoons, reducing the amount of precipitation and finally desertification defeating the very purpose of the project. Further,
  • Marine ecosystems which rely on nutrients from rivers would be affected.

  • Symbiosis between marine and land life systems affected.

  • Expenditure of Rs.5,60,000 crores – severe strain on govt. revenues and resources.

  • In addition, external costs due to environmental harm, wildlife harm, ecology is yet to be accounted.

  • Estimated cost is 20% of India’s GDP, 2.5 times the IT collection, 2 times foreign exchange reserves, equaling the money spent for irrigation for the past 44 years.


  • Destruction of cultures, communities, ecosystems.

  • Rifts between states.

  • Construction – loss of large tracts of land to canals,

  • Loss of land for reservoirs

  • National parks and sanctuaries affecting flora and fauna

  • Requires coordination between Indian states, and between India and Nepal, China, Bhutan, Bangladesh.

  • Rehabilitation of millions who would have to resettle while a recent report says that so far in India about 50 million have resettled due to hydrologic projects and only 20 million of them have been rehabilitated.

The opinion of reductionism which has its roots in arithmetic hydrology is that the drainage of rivers into ocean is a waste and tapping that would lead to higher economic returns. But this concept is considered obsolete by several countries and they are adopting a holistic view based on ecohydrology. Application of an holistic approach to Indian scenario leads to a conclusion that adopting smaller and regional watershed projects could yield maximum benefit without causing any accountable disturbances to the ecosystem.
Thus the following are some of the feasible alternatives for the ILR project.
  • Renovation, restoration and maintenance of existing tanks and reservoirs,

  • Rain water harvesting is estimated to capture 140 billion cubic meter of runoff which can be adopted in every village of India.

  • Ground Water Harvesting
Ground Water Harvesting
India has emerged as the largest user of groundwater in the world. And although the quantum so far harnessed - around 150 bcm/a out of 432 bcm/a - accounts for only 35% of the utilizable groundwater, there has been such decline of groundwater levels or depletion of groundwater. The real flaw arises due to the present practice of extracting groundwater from upland rocky areas through multitude of deep bore wells resulting in local groundwater depletion and steep decline of water levels. The major portion of the unutilized groundwater, is joining the sandy alluvium beneath the multitude of streams and rivers to finally join the sea. This unutilised groundwater could be easily extracted through wells in the beds of streams and rivers on a sustainable basis without any danger of groundwater depletion.
Most of the surface runoff flows in such a short period under the influence of heavy precipitation and could be used only through construction of huge reservoirs. Groundwater beneath a riverbed, in contrast, flows so slowly and uniformly that most of it could be exploited fairly easily through wells. Construction of subsurface dams across the multitude of streams all along the coastal tracts will prevent substantial fresh groundwater presently joining the sea without at the same time submerging any new land.. These dams also prevent seawater intrusion along the coast where there is intensive use of groundwater in the streambeds.
The pictures below show the pattern in which subsurface dams would be constructed. The cut-off wall stores a massive amount of ground water upstream while allowing a calculated quantity to flow down stream.

Such maximum utilization of available water through an essentially groundwater-oriented storage and supply mechanism would meet the entire water needs of most river basins without the need to interlink rivers.

Thus any methodology which alters the course of nature largely would lead to large scale devastations and irreversible changes in environment. Having learnt form our past experiences, we should strive to adopt only those which abide by the complex rules of nature. Else we would have to redraw our geography.