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

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

#StandWithStan: It's about Constitution, democracy and freedom of expression

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  It is more than three weeks now: On the night of October 8, 2020, the 83-year-old Jesuit Fr Stan Swamy was taken into custody by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) from his residence in Ranchi to an undisclosed destination. According to his colleagues, the NIA did not serve a warrant on Fr. Stan and that their behaviour was absolutely arrogant and rude.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

India among heavily impacted by Covid-19, China 'notoriously' evading transparency

By NS Venkataraman* With the year 2020 inevitably ending in the next few weeks, the thought amongst the people all over the world is whether the coming year 2021 will be free of Covid-19 (often dubbed as Wuhan virus, as it known to have spread from Wuhan in China).In the early 2020, many people thought that Covid-19 would be a localized affair in China but later on, it proved to be a global pandemic.

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

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".

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.