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

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.

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

A new fad in India, coding-for-toddlers culture needs to be 'nipped' in the bud

By Aditya Pandey* We are all aware of the dire consequences of subjecting young kids to intense academic pressure from an early age. In India, we have coaching institutes like FIITJEE and Resonance offering programmes for 6th standard kids to prepare them for “NTSE, IJSO, PRMO and other Olympiads”. The duration of these programmes is around 175 hours – hours that could've been spent playing games and making friends instead.

Modi govt 'implementing' IMF-envisaged corporate takeover of Indian agriculture

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* The surge of wealth of Indian billionaires and the Modi-led BJP government’s onslaught on poor, marginalised and farmers continue to grow simultaneously as masses face annihilating pandemic of coronavirus. There is 90 % rise of Indian billionaire’s wealth over last one decade. It is not accidental.

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

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.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.

Consumption pattern, not economic shock behind 'poor' child health indicators

By Neeraj Kumar, Arup Mitra* The findings of the latest round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20 covering 22 States/UTs under Phase-I  present a somewhat disappointing picture of children’s health in India. Majority of the experts, based on prima facie evidence, just highlighted the deteriorating sign of child health in terms of increase in proportion of stunted and underweight children in most of the phase-I states/UTs over last two rounds of NFHS (2015-16 to 2019-20).