Skip to main content

How much area in Gujarat is irrigated with Narmada water? Why is industry breakup not released? Asks farmers leader

By Our Representative
Strongly refuting Gujarat government claim that just about 4.7 million acre feet (MAF) of water is available from Narmada dam, which is more than 50% -- or 9 MAF -- that should be made available to Gujarat, hence no Narmada water will be available for irrigation after March 15, top farmers' leader Sagar Rabari has wondered: How much land is being irrigated from the dam's water?
Rabari, in a letter to Gujarat chief secretary JN Singh and Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Ltd (SSSNL) CMD SS Rathore, has asked, "Have we irrigated 18.45 lakh hectates (ha) of land for kharif and rabi crop?" The question acquires significance, as according to SSNNL's own admission, as of June 2017, 5,66,701 ha, or less than one-third of the area that should be potentially be brought under irrigation, actually came under irritation.
Notably, an SSSNL status report suggests the reason why the area brought under irrigation from Narmada is so low is because of the failure to complete the Narmada canal network. The report says, if the irrigation potential created up to the minor canals is 78.88%, it is 53.54% up to the sub-minors out of 18.45 lakh ha slated to be irrigated.
Significantly, there is no mention of the progress in creating field channels, necessary for irrigating the agricultural land, one reason why farmers siphon out waters mainly from the minor canals by sinking long pipes, attached with diesel-run pumps. If earlier field channels were to be developed by farmers' cooperative, the SSNNL decided to take it up under its wings in early 2000s as the farmers' cooperatives couldn't materialise.
It is being reasoned, if the area brought under irrigation so far created is less than one-third of what it should be, why can't the farmers be provided water when more than 50% of Narmada water officially declared to be available?
Sagar Rabari
Refuting the official view that this time lack of rain in the Narmada command area is the main reason why Gujarat would be getting less amount of Narmada water, leading to 0.06 MAF available for industries as against the allocation of 0.20 MAF, Rabari in his letter asks the state government to provide breakpup of how much of water is provided to industries in Jamnagar and Kutch.
Rabari wants the state officials to also make public the exact quantity of Narmada water being released in the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati river front in Ahmedabad, and "how much land can be potentially irrigated by that quantity of water." He further wonders how much Narmada water is being supplied to Kensville golf course and Adanis' Shantigram township, and how much of irrigation potential does that carry.
He pointedly asks, "Who bypassed the engineer’s advise and overruled the decision not supply water to Shantigram?", wondering, "What about Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City off Gandhinagar? How much water does it consume? How many Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) estates and which big industries are getting Narmada water? How much water does Coca Cola get from Narmada?"
The letter comes close on the heels of a major revelation that Narmada water in Gujarat meant for irrigation wouldn't be available this summer because it isa being diverted to Madhya Pradesh in order to assuage farmers' anger ahead of state elections, slated later this year.
Notably, Gujarat government released huge quantities of Narmada waters ahead of Gujarat polls, which took place in December 2017, with things going so far as to flood the Little Rann of Kutch. A top aide of Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani admitted  to Counterview that "political reasons" led the state government not to warn possibility of sharp shortfall in Narmada water ahead of the polls.

Comments

Uma Sheth said…
The water is going to the River Front in Ahmedabad--no shortage there

TRENDING

Allow international human rights observers, media to access Kashmir: US lawmakers

Counterview Desk
In a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two members of the American Congress, Pramila Jayapal and James McGovern, raising "significant concerns" about what they call "humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jammu & Kashmir”, quoting "credible reports" from journalists and advocates on the ground" have said that "the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse, imposed de facto curfews on residents' and cut off internet and telephone access in the region.”

TN woman's No Caste, No Religion struggle 'follows' ideals of Marx, Ambedkar, Periyar

By Sheshu Babu*
In these days of rising communal tensions, a courageous woman from Tamil Nadu achieved her dream of obtaining 'No Caste, No Religion' certificate through persistent struggle. This is quite a significant achievement. It comes alongside some colleges in West Bengal introducing 'humanity', 'agnostic' , 'secular' or 'non-religious' in the application forms for online submission for students who are unwilling to disclose their faith.

Rescind Gates Foundation award to Modi, demand three Nobel Peace laureates

Counterview Desk
In a major boost to those opposing the award to the Gates Foundation’s proposed to be awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire (1976), Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman (2011) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), have in an open letter called upon Milinda and Bill Gates to withdraw their decision, stating Modi is allegedly involved in human rights violations.

US Kashmiri diaspora body: World leaders, UN 'not acting', India enjoys total impunity

Counterview Desk
Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly session, to begin on September 17 in New York, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, secretary-general of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, a non-profit organization based in Ohio, US, claiming to focus on providing information on Kashmir, has regretted that despite "violent" behaviour of Indian authorities in Kashmir, they enjoy "total impunity" across the world.

Modi used to 'run errands' during Emergency, his role was that much: Top JP associate

By Rajiv Shah
In a sharp exposure, well-known Gujarati critic, journalist and activist Prakash N Shah, who had been among the main contact persons of Jay Prakash Narayan (JP) in Gujarat, has recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “merely running errands” during the Emergency (1975-77) period, adding the PM’s stature has been “sought to be unnecessarily inflated”, though adding, he is not saying this to “belittle him.”

Jharkhand riverine terminal: 485 families 'displaced', lose land, livelihood in Sahibgunj

Counterview Desk
Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposes to inaugurate on Thursday India’s second riverine Multi-Modal terminal (MMT) at Sahibganj in Jharkhand, built at a cost of Rs 290 crore reportedly in a record time of about two years, several civil rights organizations* have said that the government has failed to address the high-profile terminal’s social and environmental concerns.

Now clampdown on rally, arrest of pro-freedom activists in Pak-occupied Kashmir

Counterview Desk
In a fresh evidence, international human rights organizations are not just confining their attention on the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), whose special status was taken away by the Government of India in early August, leading to an unprecedented clampdown on the region. They have simultaneously begun focusing on the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), where the situation is said to be worsening.
Thus, the International Human Rights Council ((IHRC) Hong Kong (HK), a top human rights organisation, said to be working towards to the promotion peace, equality, fundamental rights and social justice “as enunciated in the UN Human Rights Charter and other instruments of human rights”, has noted now a new wave of independence movement has struck PoK.  With offices in US, UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong, and having Kirity Roy and Lenin Raghuvanshi as IHRC office bearers from India, in a statement, it has claimed that on September 7 one of the biggest pro-Independenc…

Govt of India 'moves' to hold Assam-type foreigners' tribunals across India, warns report

Counterview Desk
A People’s Tribunal on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has warned in its interim jury report that two recent notifications of the Government of India may lay down the groundwork for triggering an NRC process in different parts of the country, pointing towards recent moves towards this.

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.

New sample suggests high pollution off Vadodara effluent channel, 'requires' action

Counterview Desk 
Gujarat’s top environmental group Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) has sharply criticized the Gujarat Pollution Control Board’s (GPCB’s) “on-serious, casual letter” dated September 5, which allegedly suggests that the top state state agency does not favour taking any action Central Gujarat’s effluent treatment plant, Vadodara Enviro Channel Ltd (VECL).