Skip to main content

It's official, Bharbhut barrage is for corporate sector: Industry to get lion's share from stored water

Narmada river
By Rajiv Shah
It is finally official. The proposed barrage at Bharbhut, which is to be built for Rs 4,000 crore on the mouth of Narmada river, and for whom an environmental public hearing is expected to take place on July 19 in Bharuch district, is slated to serve the corporate houses, who have heavily invested in the Bharuch-Dahej region. This is clear from the data provided by the state-sponsored report, "Environmental Impact and Risk Assessment for the Proposed Barrage Across River Narmada near Bhadbhut, Dist. Bharuch", by top consulting firm National Environmental Engineering Research Institute.
The study, which which has just been released, says, fresh river water availability for domestic usage will be 60 million cubic metres (MCM), for irrigation it will be 10 MCM which will be mainly "for revival of defunct lift irrigation schemes of the area" for irrigating a command area of just 1,136 hectares (ha) area, and for "industrial purposes" it will be a whopping 200 MCM to "facilitate speedier infrastructure development of the region."
The areas that would need to be covered for irrigation are "two defunct minor lift irrigation schemes namely Angareshwar LI scheme (568 ha) and Zanor LI scheme (568 ha) having total command area of 1136 ha. These schemes will be revived by the water storage at the proposed Bharbhut barrage project." Of this, Kharif area is 675 ha and and Rabi area is 345 ha.
Importantly, for lifting water, the farmers would have to shell out money from their pocket. The study makes it clear, "The water is to be lifted by the farmers at their own cost. Also, no canal system is envisaged and hence seepage from canal is ruled out."
Significantly, the total agricultural area of the district is 3,30,302 ha. The crops which are irrigated are paddy, Jowar, tur, udad, groundnut, maize, soyabean in the in Kharif season covering an area of about 2,80,000 ha. The crops like wheat, grams, vegetables are sown in Rabi season in an area of 80,000 ha.Because of salinity ingress, productivity in the region is low. The state "expects" productivity to go up once the barrage is constructed and fresh water is stored in the area between the Narmada dam and the barrage.
The justification for giving huge such amount of water to the corporate sector, including the upcoming Petroleum, Chemical and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR), Dahaj, which includes a special economic zone, too, is that it would "earn" the state revenue.
The study says, "As it is proposed to undertake the construction and operation of the proposed project on private public partnership (PPP) mode, revenue generation from the sale of water to industries is assessed at Rs 300 crores at the start and at Rs 500 crore" later.
The study seeks to explain, the "gross storage is about 500 MCM, and the "the reservoir water is planned to be utilised for domestic, industrial and irrigation purposes." Explaining the reason for not giving much water for irrigation, it says, "The agricultural area on both the banks of the river, except area at higher elevation along the bank, are having irrigation facility through Ukai Right bank Canal system on left bank of Narmada river and Narmada Canal system on right bank."

Comments

TRENDING

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Girl child education: 20 major states 'score' better than Gujarat, says GoI report

By Rajiv Shah
A Government of India report, released last month, has suggested that “model” Gujarat has failed to make any progress vis-à-vis other states in ensuring that girls continue to remain enrolled after they leave primary schools. The report finds that, in the age group 14-17, Gujarat’s 71% girls are enrolled at the secondary and higher secondary level, which is worse than 20 out of 22 major states for which data have been made available.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.

Post-Balakot, danger that events might spiral out of control is 'greater, not less'

By Tapan Bose*
The fear of war in South Asia is increasing. Tensions are escalating between India and Pakistan after the Indian defence minister's announcement in August this year that India may revoke its current commitment to only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack, known as ‘no first use’. According to some experts who are watching the situation the risk of a conflict between the two countries has never been greater since they both tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

'Favouring' tribals and ignoring Adivasis? Behind coercion of India's aborigines

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Tribal people account for 8.2% of India’s population. They are spread over all of India’s States and Union Territories. Even so they can be broadly classified into three groupings. The first grouping consists of populations who predate the Indo-Aryan migrations. These are termed by many anthropologists as the Austro-Asiatic-speaking Australoid people.