Skip to main content

Gujarat govt disaster management plan puts Narmada submergence levels 11 metres higher: Medha Patkar

By Our Representative
In a fresh calculation, the backwater levels in some of the villages along Narmada during heavy floods in Madhya Pradesh would be around around 155 metres once the Narmada dam across Gujarat, currently under construction, reaches the full reservoir level (FRL) at 138.68 metres.
Pointing this out on the basis of the 2015 Disaster Management Plan document of the Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd, well-known anti-dam social activist Medha Patkar has said, this is 11 metres higher than what the government authorities have been saying so far.
In an analysis of the backwater levels on the basis of the Disaster Management Plan forwarded to Counterview, Patkar says, it states that in Gazipura/Khalghat village, Madhya Pradesh, "the backwater levels would come to a height of 149.85 metre, due to the current 122 metres dam height and a peak flood of 24.5 lakh cusecs. This is an up to date figure based for construction up to June 2015."
Patkar says, "According to this document the backwater curve would begin at the dam site at a level of 134.32 metres (which is called the afflux level) and grow in height as the water backs up to Gazipura/Khalghat in Madhya Pradesh and beyond."
"If the dam is fully constructed and gates are installed, then the curve would begin at the dam site at the Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of 138.68 metres, which is a 4.36 metres higher afflux level. In other words at Gazipura/Khalghat the backwater levels would reach 149.85 + 4.36 = 154 to 155 metres with the gates installed and dam at FRL", she adds.
According to Patkar, if the Disaster Management Plan document is correct, a higher backwater level would mean "the submergence waters could be as much as 4-10 metres higher – that would impact tens of thousands more" as against what the authorities had been trying to make out so far.
The authorities had calculated that for Gazipura/Khalghat village, for instance, with the dam at "the full dam height of FRL 138.68 meters, for the same 24.5 lakh cusecs peak flood, the backwater levels were calculated (or should we say manipulated?) to be only 144.92 metres", Patkar says.
In fact, according to Patkar, "Even for the dam at 122 metres, Gazipura/Khalghat's backwater level of 149.85 metres is already much higher than 144.92 mts that is being used to deny rehabilitation to families whose homes are surely going to be submerged."
Drawing parallel, Patkar says, "To imagine the scale of the problem the villages and town to be affected by Narmada are facing, consider a coastal city like Mumbai or Chennai."
She adds, "Now imagine that the sea level rises by 5 to 10 metres. What would be the impact to all the homes in the city next to the sea due to such a tsunami? How far will the water go in and how much damage will it do? This is the scale of the injustice that the villagers from the Narmada valley are facing."
Criticizing the government policy of rehabilitation of Narmada dam affected people in this context, Patkar says, "Instead of rehabilitating families, the governments at the centre and states have chosen to violate the Narmada Tribunal Award and Supreme Court orders by creating a second lower backwater level."
"Families who previously were eligible for rehabilitation were deemed to be out of submergence zone. However, the true disaster is reflected in the annual Disaster Management document", she concludes.

Comments

TRENDING

Whistle-blowing IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife suspects foul play after truck hits her car

By Nachiketa Desai*
Paranoia has seized Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Sanjiv Bhatt, after the car she was driving was rammed in broad day light. According to Shweta Bhatt, it was beacon light-flashing truck without registration number plate. The incident took place on January 7, just a day ahead of the Gujarat High Court was scheduled to take up the bail application of Sanjiv Bhatt, arrested last year for "involvement" in a 23-year-old case.

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

99% MGNREGA funds "exhausted", Govt of India makes no additional sanctions: Study

Counterview Desk
A letter, addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and prepared by senior activists led by Aruna Roy on behalf of the Peoples’ Action for Employment Guarantee (PAEG), and signed, among others, by 80 members of Parliament, has regretted that, despite repeated public statements by his government promising employment and job creation that will boost the country’s growth, the country’s only employment guarantee programme, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), “is being systematically undermined.”

Morari Bapu, who has installed new statues of Ram, Laxman, Hanuman without weapons

By Sandeep Pandey*
A saint is one who can give some inner peace by his/her voice. This will happen only when s(he) will talk about love and harmony. Morari Bapu is one saint who has been conveying the message of love, peace, harmony, fraternity, etc. Today when a number of saffron clad figures with aggressive posture, spewing venom, fanning hatred to polarise voters are at the forefront of politics of Hindutva it is a relief to see Morari Bapu in a different mould.

Nuclear reactors sought from French giant "not safe": Letter to Modi on Jaitapur project

Counterview Desk
Amidst reports that the French nuclear giant EDF has submitted a “techno-commercial offer” for the world’s largest nuclear power park proposed in Maharashtra’s Jaitapur nuclear power park in Jaitapur on the Maharashtra coast, Dr EAS Sarma, India’s former Union Secretary in the Minister of Power, and an eminent voice in the civil society, has written an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who also heads Department of Atomic Energy (DAE),  protesting the move.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Kerala land being acquired using "draconian, anti-people" National Highway Act, 1956

Counterview Desk
In a letter Chief Minister of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan, senior activists and politicians have insisted that the Kerala government should not agree to "inhuman displacement and buid-operate-transfer (BOT) Toll system", imposed by the Government of India and the National Highway Authority of India, for widening the current National Highway (NH) 66.

Kaiga NPP expansion: Karnataka to get just 400 MW, but lose thick forest, fresh water

Counterview Desk
In an open letter to the chairman and members of the Atomic energy Commission (AEC) on the issue of Kaiga nuclear power plant (NPP) expansion plan in Karnataka, Shankar Sharma, well-known power policy analyst, has argued that that in case of expansion, the site will face “exponential increase in radiation emission risks”, underlining, “Nuclear safety experts identify such a scenario as enhanced risk for NPPs with multiple reactors and shared technical facilities."
Sharma says the questions that also be asked whether Karnataka should lose more than 54 hectares of thick forests and about 152,304 cubic meters of fresh water per day from Kali river for a meager benefit of 400 MW from the Kaiga NPP, for which “there are many benign alternative options available for the state at much lower overall costs to the state.”
Text of the letter: This has reference to the public hearing under the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Rule 2006 of Ministry of Environment, Fore…

Uttarakhand High Court: Biodiversity boards can impose fees on Ramdev's Divya Pharmacy

By Mridhu Tandon
In a significant decision, the Uttarakhand High Court on December 21, 2018 has dismissed the writ petition filed by Divya Pharmacy founded by Baba Ramdev and Acharya Balakrishnan, challenging the demand of the Uttarakhand Biodiversity Board (UBB) imposing fees under the provisions of the Fair and Equitable Benefit Sharing (FEBS).

Modi becoming Prime Minister now appears to be an "accident" to the people of India

By Sandeep Pandey*
Anupam Kher's film 'Accidental Prime Minister' has targeted Dr Manmohan Singh who served for two terms and may be again acceptable for the job if his party regains power. But his tormentor Narendra Modi seems to be out of breath even before his first term is over. Disillusionment with him is so widespread and deep that people of India may not bear with him for another term. As the general elections approach again the difference between the two needs to be examined.