Skip to main content

Will the Sardar statue withstand Narmada water current of 20 feet per second? Top state insider doubts

By Rajiv Shah
Apprehensions about viability of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s pet Rs 2,500 crore project, to built as the world’s tallest statue in the memory of Sardar Patel, are now coming from unexpected quarters, albeit “off the record.” One of the topmost government officials, known to be close to Modi, told Counterview on condition of anonymity that several “issues” about practicality of the project – which is part of the overall Modi drive to turn the area surrounding the Narmada dam into a major tourist attraction – have “yet to be resolved”.
The bureaucrat, who has been associated with several projects of the state’s Narmada and water resources department and can claim to be privy to inside information about the project despite not being directly part of the Sardar statue on a day-to-day basis, said, “Without solving some of the major contentious issues, and making them public, it would be advisable not to continue with the project. It would be even more advisable to make public all the technical details of the project.”
One of the major issues related with the Sardar statue, which is slated to be 182 metres high, twice that of the Statue of Liberty in New York, is to come up with an “authentic mathematical model” which would ensure that it would be able to withstand the “the worst flood scenario.” The official said, “The Sardar Sarovar Dam, which is in 3.2 km upstream, has been designed to release flood waters up to 30 lakh cusecs during an extreme flood. Once such huge floods happen, it is but natural that the water current in the river towards the sea would be extremely high.”
Pointing out that, according one expert estimate, the water current in the river might reach 20 feet per second, which is “unprecedented by any standard”, the official said, so far nothing is known about what would happen under such a scenario. “The normal river flow is about four feet per second”, the official pointed out, adding, “Generally, under flood conditions, the river flow rises to 12 feet per second. The maximum water flowing in the Narmada river was in 1960s during a major flood – around 24 lakh cusecs – or cubic feet per seconds.”
“While such flooding, of 30 lakh cusecs, would take place in rarest of rare cases, it is extremely important to take such a scenario into account. I hope, technical experts designing the statue are looking into this. Such strong current has the capacity to cutting into the river bed in a very unusual way. One cannot rule out that river may change its course. What would happen to the statue in that case?”, the official wondered.
The second factor which “has not been looked into”, according to this official, is what would happen in case the Sardar statue falls in the event of a major quake. “It would be a very huge statue, and if the statue falls vertically across the river, brink to brink, the damage would be devastating -- it would mean creating another dam. What would be the impact on the river in that case?”, the official wondered, adding, “While the Sardar Sarovar Dam has been designed to withstand an earthquake equal to the worst quake in Zone 7, whether the Sardar statue can withstand such a shakeup is the moot question.”
Asked why, in that case, the Gujarat government is going ahead with the statue and making such a big noise about it, the official said, “Experience suggests certain announcements are guided by political necessity, which we bureaucrats cannot understand. You never know what might happen to such announcements after a certain while. So, the best course would be to wait and see.”

Comments

TRENDING

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

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".

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.