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

August 22 to be observed as Apostasy Day: International coalition of ex-Muslim groups

By Our Representative
In a unique move, an international coalition of ex-Muslim organisations has decided to observe August 22, 2020 as the Apostasy Day. To be observed for “the abandonment or renunciation of religion”, the coalition, calling upon people to join the call, said, the decision to observe the Apostasy Day has been taken because of apostasy is “punishable by death in Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, UAE, and Yemen.”

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

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".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

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.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.