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

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Critics of your government should not be in jail: PUCL shoots open letter to Modi

Counterview Desk In an open letter, Ravikiran Jain, national president, and Dr V Suresh, general secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) have taken strong exception to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s view that raising human rights issues can ‘tarnish’ the country’s reputation, stating, those who raise human rights concerns do it “through established United Nations mechanisms such as the UN Human Rights Council, the Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights.”

Dalits 'celebrate' Constitutional Power Era in 12,500 villages of 16 districts on Nov 26

By Pradip More*  It is a fact that the majority of the people do not have much knowledge about the law, and especially the Constitution. Yet, today's younger generation is becoming increasingly aware of its rights. One wished it would have been good if it was taught about the Constitution well in the schools.

When judges behave more like priests, delivering sermons from high podium...

By Ajit Singh*  The theory of separation of power found its origins in ancient Greece but with the passage of time it became widespread in other parts of Europe. Early proponent of the theory Greek philosopher Aristotle in “Politics” argued that implementation of constitution in letter and spirit can only be possible if the three elements among whom the power has been distributed are well arranged.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

'We are scared to even raise our voice': Delhi sewer workers tell roundtable

By Our Representative  A roundtable attended by more than 100 sewer workers in Delhi, saw sharp voices against the contract system, poor wages and lack of any social benefits. Organised by the Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch (DASAM), which has refused to reveal the identity of the sewer workers who spoke on the occasion for fear of retaliation from the authorities, saw workers complain that have been working for more than 10 years, hoping that someday they would be made permanent.

Govt of India's 'narrative' of hate, 'clarion call' for onslaught on civil society: Ex-babus

Counterview Desk  Addressing “fellow citizens”, the Constitution Conduct Group (CCG), having former prominent civil servants as it members, has said that recent assertions by National Human Rights Commission National Human Rights Commission Justice (retd) Arun Mishra, the Prime Minister and General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff, portent a deliberate and disturbing strategy to “deny civil society the space and wherewithal for its operation.”

Muck being thrown in Uttarakhand rivers: Villagers face 'existential' crisis

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  The Uttarakhand government must act fast to clear the path of Dhauli Ganga river about two kilometres ahead of village Neeti and about one kilometre from Ghamsali village, which is about 90 kilometer from Joshi Math town in district Chamoli. The creation of an artificial lake due to throwing of muck and mud can create a catastrophic situation like what happened on February 7, 2021-- the Rishi Ganga-Dhauli Ganga tragedy at Tapovan and Raini village in which over 200 people lost their life.

How Indore turned into water minus city after authorities 'managed' Water Plus title

Water harvester cleaning up hyacinth from an Indore river By Rahul Banerjee*  Recently, the city of Indore was declared the first Water Plus city in India under the Swachh Sarvekshan programme of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development for its ostensibly exemplary waste water management. However, the reality is quite different as a detailed study of the prevailing wastewater management situation in the city shows.

UP govt 'ignoring' demand to fill up teachers' posts despite unemployment: Rights groups

Sandeep Pandey with Shikha Pal Counterview Desk  Commenting on the unique protest undertaken by Shikha Pal atop an overhead water tank for nearly four months, the Socialist Party (India), in association with several civil rights group, Yuva Shakti Sangathan, Socialist Yuvjan Sabha and Rihai Manch, have wondered why has the Yogi Adityanath government is so “insensitive” towards her demands and is looking the “other way.”