Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman proposed a project to link five rivers in India in her budget speech. She announced that draft Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) have been finalised and that the Union government will provide support for the implementation of the project after a consensus is obtained by the beneficiary states.
The rivers identified for linking are Godavari-Krishna, Krishna-Pennar and Pennar-Cauvery, Damanganga-Pinjal and Par-Tapi-Narmada. In 2020, the then Union Minister for Water Resources had said that a detailed DPR had been readied to link Godavari, Krishna and Cauvery. The DPR said that 247 TMC of water from Godavari can be diverted to southern regions of the basins of Krishna, Cauvery and Pennar.
Krishna, the fourth largest river in India, originates in Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra and flows through Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Cauvery originates in Kodagu and flows through Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Penna originates in Chikkaballapura and flows through Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. Godavari which is the third largest river in India originates in Nashik and flows through Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa.
The Damanganga-Pinjal river linking aims to divert surplus water from the Damanganga basin to provide domestic water for Mumbai city. The Par-Tapi-Narmada project proposes to provide water to doubt-prone regions of Kutch and Saurashtra by diverting excess water from seven reservoirs in the Western Ghats in North Maharashtra and south Gujarat.