Skip to main content

Ahead of Gujarat elections, Madhya Pradesh's top Narmada reservoirs were depleted to "appease" voters

Modi atop Narmada dam on September 17
By Our Representative
Strongly arguing as to how the Narmada dam was filled up ahead of the Gujarat assembly elections, which took place in mid-December 2017, senior farmers' leader Sagar Rabari of Khedut Samaj – Gujarat (KSG) has said, quoting official data, that on July 1, the water level in the 138.68 metre dam was at 114.97 metres, but on October 1, it was allowed to reach 130.74 metres, all to whip up sentiments of people around a river considered sacred by people.
"In the the beginning of monsoon, on July 31, the water level reached 120.69 metres, an increase of 5.72 metres in a month", said Rabari, adding, "It increased to 124.43 metres on August 31, and with the addition of September rain water, it reached 130.59 metres on October 1, but after that it was allowed to decline to provide as much waters to farmers as possible, even if they don't need it."
"In October-end, the water level was 128.69 metres, 1.9 meter lower than overall level, and on November 30, it further fell to 124.22 metres", Rabari said in a statement, alleging, Narmada waters were being "grossly and utterly misused", adding, "On November 31, the water levels fell to 118.33 metres, a decline of 5.89 metres, and on December 12, when the campaign officially ended, the water level at the dam site fell to 115.95 metres."
"During the two-and-a-half months of electioneering, SSNNL generously but altogether unnecessarily released water from the dam for ‘inaugurations’ of schemes and vote catching ploys. Not surprisingly, the water level fell from 130.59 to 115.95 meters, i.e. the ruling party and the SSNNL together wasted 14.64 meters of precious water, snatching it from the people of Gujarat", the farmers' leader alleged.
"An important fact to note here is that September, October and November are officially monsoon months. Agriculture, the sector that is the biggest beneficiary of the water, does not utilise much water during these months", Rabari said, adding, "Hence our query – where did the water vanish?"
Giving data of the amount of water allowed to be depleted after the Gujarat polls, Rabari said, "On December 1, the dam had 1946 million cubic metres (MCM), but on January 12, 2018, a month later, it got reduced to 638 MCM, and further to 328 MCM on January 25, when the water level in the dam reached 113.69 metres."
He added, "The authorities may not be willing to accept people’s demand of detailed account of water they misused but the farmers are determined to force them to reveal the account or provide them water that has been misused to woo voters."
Meanwhile, quoting the Daily Status Reports of the Narmada Control Authority (NCA), the advocacy group, South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP), has said that the inflow into the Narmada dam "suddenly jumped" from 495 cumecs (Cubic Meters per second) on September 12, to 2384 cumecs on September 16, in anticipation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting the dam on his birthday, September 17.
Meanwhile, it added, Madhya Pradesh depleted its water storage so that the Narmada dam looked full on September 17. "The increased inflow into the Narmada dam was made possible only by increased outflow from upstream Madhya Pradesh dams like Indira Sagar Project (ISP) on Narmada. ISP, incidentally is India’s largest reservoir in terms of storage capacity."
Thus, "ISP's storage level, which was already very low (about 33%) on September 11 with monsoon almost coming to close, was depleted by further 450 MCM from September 11 to September 16, while the Narmada dam water level rose by 750 MCM during the same period. All this, so that water level at the Narmada could look more respectable on September 17", SANDRP said.

Comments

K SHESHU BABU said…
It is unfortunate to note that release of water from Narmada is being linked to political considerations overlooking farmers requirements. The farmers should not be made to suffer due to elections in different states.

TRENDING

Sanjiv Bhatt paying price for deposing on Modi role in Gujarat riots: Wife Shweta

Counterview Desk
Following the Jamnagar sessions court ordering life imprisonment to former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt for his alleged involvement in three decades old custodial death case, his wife Shweta Bhatt has said that he has been sentenced for a “for a crime he did not commit”, even as criticizing the Indian Police Service (IPS) Association, Gujarat, for not standing up for him.

Senior advocates targeted because they took up cases against Amit Shah: Lawyers' NGO

Counterview Desk
The Lawyers Collective (LC), an NGO claiming to promote human rights issues, has expressed surprise at the latest move by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to register an FIR against the Lawyers Collective (LC), its president Anand Grover and unknown office bearers for alleged violation of the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA).

US research: 40% of India's casteist Facebook posts are anti-reservation, anti-Dalit

By Rajiv Shah
A recent American civil society research has found that 40% of India's casteist posts on Facebook (FB) have anti-reservation slant. Asserting that the reservation policy in India is similar to affirmative action in the United States, the research study, titled "Facebook India: Towards The Tipping Point of Violence Caste and Religious Hate Speech", says, this type of hate content on FB is mainly directed against Dalits and Adivasis.

Demand for Bharat Ratna to Dalai Lama as top RSS leader warns China of 'strong' action

Nava Thakuria*
Dharamshala: Indian supporters for a free Tibet have urged the Government of India to confer Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour, on the Tibetan spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, for his “immense contributions” in creating goodwill for India in the last six decades. A declaration, adopted at the 6th All-India Tibet Support Groups’ Conference held on June 15 and 16 in Dharamshala township of Himachal Pradesh, said that the Nobel laureate continues to be a holy ambassador of Indian culture enriched with non-violence, compassion and religious harmony.

One of the least peaceful countries, India's global peace ranking deteriorates: Report

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released report has asserted that India's ranking in the Global Peace Index (GPI) is 141st among 163 countries, deteriorating by four ranks in a year. Ranking 163 countries by providing a score to each, the report, prepared by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), headquartered in Sydney, Australia, has found India to be one of the least peaceful nations in the region.

How Gujarat govt imposed curbs on livestock export for 'fear' of losing BJP vote share

By RK Misra*
Insidious are the ways authorities function, preaching one thing, practicing quite another. Administrative muscle-flexing to suit political goals was on display when the BJP-led Vijay Rupani government in Gujarat banned the export of livestock days ahead of Eid. Even the Narendra Modi-led government expressed its intent to confirm it countrywide, but stopped short of doing so.

Ex-CEA is 'right': India's new GDP growth data didn't pass the smell test. They still don't

Counterview Desk
In a hard-hitting defence of former chief economic adviser (CEA), Government of India (GoI), Arvind Subramanian, who created a major flutter by arguing in a recent paper that India's growth rate has been inflated by 2.5%, prominent academic Dr V Anantha Nageswaran wonders why is GoI not making available the Central Statistical Organization (CSO) data and methodology to independent statisticians for verification.

Gujarat govt 'considers' temples, charitable institutions as shops and establishment

By Pankti Jog*
The Gujarat state assembly recently passed a new law which would "govern" the working condition of shops and establishments. One of the most talked about provisions of the Act is, it allow shops and establishments across Gujarat to function 24 hours.

There is no 'separate' Kashmir story, as there is for Afghanistan, Nepal, Tibet, Palestine

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Kashmir is the northernmost geographical region of South Asia. Until the mid-19th century, the term "Kashmir" denoted only the valley between the Great Himalayas and the Pir Panjal mountain range. The name Kashmir derives from the Sanskrit Kashyapmeru. The Greeks knew it as Kaspeiria. Herodotus called it Kaspatyros.

FIR against Lawyers’ Collective a ‘witch-hunt’ of outspoken human rights defenders

Counterview Desk
In a statement, Ravi Kiran Jain* and Dr V Suresh** of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) have said the CBI’s FIR against the Lawyers’ Collective and senior advocate Anand Grover is an undisguised attempt to silence not just the top human rights organization but is also meant to “serve as a lesson to all others who dare to challenge the Central Government.”
Calling the FIR “motivated, vengeful and vituperative act”, PUCL said the Lawyers’ Collective, which has for 38 years of its existence has taken up cases related with domestic violence, human rights, labour and womens’ rights, adding, among the important ones are the “Naz case on rights of the LGBTQ community, the Novartis case, the Sabarimala case, the triple talaaq case and the Sohrabuddin case, in which current Home Minister and BJP leader Amit Shah was involved.”
Demanding immediate withdrawal of the FIR, PUCL said, “The case lodged against the organization smacks of vendetta for its exceptional …