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

TRENDING

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Anti-CAA: Mallika Sarabhai joins students, faculty to protest dy CM's 'divisive' talk

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to deputy chief minister Nitin Patel’s statement against those protesting against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC), well-known danseuse Mallika Sarabhai has joined tens of activists and students and faculty of Gujarat University, CEPT University, Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad, Gujarat Vidyapeeth and Nirma University to say that they are seeking “azadi” from the fascist and communal forces of the country.

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.