Skip to main content

Maharashtra "strongly opposed" surplus water diversion to Gujarat: Par-Tapi-Narmada river interlinking project

Maharashtra chief minister
By Our Representative
The proposed Par-Tapi-Narmada river interlinking project, aimed at diverting “surplus” waters from parts of west flowing rivers like Par, Nar, Ambika and Auranga basins in Maharashtra, is all set to become a major cause of conflict between Gujarat and Maharashtra. Maharashtra has made it clear to Gujarat it does not have “any water to spare”. Quoting official documents, a senior researcher, Parineeta Dandekar, has said that Maharashtra has told Gujarat that waters from these west-flowing basins will need to be utilized by the drought-affected areas." This part of the plans divert "surplus waters" from different sources to  Girna sub-basin of the Tapi basin in Maharashtra, and also transferred into the drought-affected parts of upper Godavari basin in Aurangabad.
Suggesting this was the main reason why Union water resources minister Uma Bharti expressed her desire to meet Devendra Fadnavis, the Maharashtra chief minister, early this week, the researcher said, already, “the Tapi Irrigation Development Corporation (TIDC) of Maharashtra has come up with a detailed plan consisting of 22 dams to transfer all the surplus water from the four west-flowing basins into eastern Maharashtra, leaving no water for diversion onto Gujarat. This plan has been formulated, we are told, under instructions from the highest leaders in the state.”
Suggesting that this is clear from the “official document with the SANDRP, which is as latest as January 1, 2015” , Dandekaar said, it is a Master Plan which consisting of of “22 dams, hundreds of kilometers of links, canals, tunnels, sumps and barrages.” She added, Maharashtra is quoting a May 2010 tripartite agreement signed between Gujarat and Maharashtra governments and the Union Ministry of Water Resources for preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of Damanganga-Pinjal and Par-Tapi-Narmada Link projects, which said, “The feasibility of utilization of water by state in their territory by lifting water over the western divide will also be examined during preparation of DPR…”
The region to be covered by transferring waters from the two river-link projects, according to the Maharashtra government, will be around 95,760 ha, of which 53,626 ha will be in Nashik, 38,304 ha in Jalgaon and 3,830 ha in Aurangabad district of Godavari Basin. “In addition, there will be 146 MCM reserved for domestic and industrial use”, Dandekar, , who is with South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP), said, adding, “Aurangabad is a part of Marathwada which infamous for recurrent drought.”
According to the researcher, already there is “strong opposition in Maharashtra to Par-Tapi Narmada Project and diverting water to Gujarat”, with “rising furor in the political circles of Maharashtra”. Thus, “in the winter assembly, a special meeting was held between Maharashtra Water Resources Minister Girish Mahajan and MLAs from the Par, Nar, Ambika and Tapi regions, which include Baglan, Chanwad, Devala, Malegaon, Surgana-Kalvan etc.”
The meeting is said to have worked out a “strategy” ahead of a crucial interstate meeting between officials from Maharashtra and Gujarat on the interlinking projects, scheduled for March 2015. “It has been urgently decided that the Maharashtra government will come up with a master plan for using waters of these rivers for Maharashtra itself rather than diverting it to Gujarat through the Par-Tapi Narmada Link”, the researcher said.
There was a proposal to give a nod to the Par-Tapi Narmada Link project in June 2014 , and the matter was discussed at the National Water Development Agency meeting at Vadodara. However, the researcher said, this has been set aside. “Officials of the Tapi Irrigation Development Corporation from Maharashtra have opposed the move. Locals have organized fasts and protests, and there is tremendous opposition to these plans in the affected regions “, the researcher said.
Meanwhile, the researcher predicted stronger opposition to the project even in Maharashtra, which wants all its water for itself. “The Par-Tapi-Narmada Link Project envisages seven huge reservoirs and a canal, and is more than 400 km long. The Par-Tapi-Narmada Link would submerge nearly 7,500 hectares of land, including 3,572 ha forestland. It would also affect more than 35,000 tribals”, she said, adding, “This tragically looks like a competition for pushing bad projects.”
She concluded, “There is BJP Government in Maharashtra, Gujarat as well as the Centre. Despite this, opposition to Par-Tapi-Narmada Project is simmering across the borders, and the Government of Maharashtra is finding it impossible to support the project. This highlights the latent conflicts that are part of the Interlinking agenda.” All this is happening when “climate change is skewing up water availability and affecting crops, as water-related disasters are increasing, as dams are increasingly seen neither as a solution, nor a respite to these issues.”

Comments

TRENDING

Nobel laureates join international figures, seek release of Bhima Koregaon accused activists

Nobel laureates Olga Tokarczuk,  Wole Soyinka Counterview Desk  As many as 57 top international personalities, including Nobel laureates, academics, human rights defenders, lawyers cultural personalities, and members of Parliament of European countries, have urged the Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India to ensure immediate release of human rights defenders in India “into safe conditions”.

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.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

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".

Top ex-Gujarat babu tells Modi: Not yoga but solar system is our biggest source of energy

By Rajiv Shah  An email alert to Counterview from a top ex-IAS bureaucrat, termed as Gujarat’s turnaround man for revamping loss-making state public sector undertakings (PSUs), has sought to take a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark on the Yoga day – that the ancient Indian exercise provides an “infinite solutions” within ourselves, offering “the biggest source of energy in the universe.”

Hunger, lack of food security behind India's 'slip' in UN's sustainable development rank

By Dr Gian Singh*  According to a report released by the United Nations on June 6, 2021, India's ranking of achieving Sustainable Development based on the 17 Social Development Goals (SDGs) set by the 193 countries in the 2003 agenda, which was 115th last year, has slipped to 117th position this year. India ranks not only the lowest among the BRICS countries -- Brazil, the Russian Federation, India, China, and South Africa but also below the four South Asian countries -- Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Collapse of healthcare system? Why 90% of Covid patients treated at home survived

By Bobby Ramakant, Sandeep Pandey* Well known Hindustani classical singer Padma Vibhu shan Channulal Mishra, chosen as one of the proposers of Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha elections, lost his wife and elder daughter to Covid in private hospitals in Varanasi. Younger daughter has accused Medwin Hospital of charging Rs 1.5 lakh for treatement of her sister and not being able to explain the cause of death. Pandit Channulal Mishra has asked for a probe into his daughter’s death from the Chief Minister. The family has also asked for the CCTV footage of the ward where deceased daughter was admitted for a week.

Rooted in mistrust? Covid-19’s march into rural India is a very different ball game

By Sudhir Katiyar* As the Covid-19 virus penetrates rural India, the rural communities are responding very differently from their urban counterparts who rushed to the hospitals. The rural communities are avoiding the public health facilities and any mention of the disease. The note argues that this supposedly irrational response is based on a deep-seated mistrust of the state by the rural communities. It can not be resolved with routine Information, Education and Communication (IEC) measures suggested in the Government of India SOP for tackling Covid-19 in rural areas.

Courageous, in-depth attempt to confirm common spiritual values of Christ, Buddha

By RB Sreekumar, IPS*  All religions, both theistic and atheistic designed conceptual and practical architecture, for holistic and comprehensive elevation and enlightenment of humanity. PK Vijayan, in his novel “Nirvana of Jesus Christ” (Notion Press, 2020) through creative imagination portrayed personality evolution of the two progenitors of God-centric and sagaciously logical major religions – Jesus Christ of Christianity and Gautama Buddha of Buddhism.

Why hasn't Govt of India responded to US critique of freedom of religion under Modi?

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* About two weeks ago, on May 12, 2021, the US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken released in Washington the ‘2020 International Religious Freedom Report.’ This official annual report of the US Government details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 foreign countries and territories and describes US actions to support religious freedom worldwide. Mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, this report highlights the fact that ‘religious freedom is both a core American value and a universal human right’.

Covid fear? Cremation rituals gone upside down, Dalits asked to do Brahminical rituals

By Abhay Jain, Sandeep Pandey*  As Covid consumes human life in a very conspicuous way we are confronted with additional problem of disposing of human corpses. Cremation grounds are lit with continuous pyres, graveyards are running out of land and now Ganga has become a mass grave potentially polluting its water.