Skip to main content

Narmada for irrigation? Gujarat polls led BJP rulers to postpone announcement of "water scarcity": Top CM aide

By Our Representative
Sharply reacting to Counterview story (click HERE), which said, quoting Gujarat government sources, that the state's farmers will not be provided with Narmada waters this summer because the waters would diverted to Madhya Pradesh agricultural fields in view of the elections there this year, a top aide of Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani has said, "There is real shortage, and this the only reason why Gujarat farmers wouldn't be able to get waters."
However, the aide, known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, admitted to Counterview that "we did not announce the shortage earlier because of political reasons." According to him, "In November last year, ahead of the Gujarat elections, the indications were clear: There was going to be a sharp shortfall of Narmada waters for irrigation. But as it was a poll year, we did not make it known..."
Dishing out "official" figures to prove his point, the top aide said, "In November 2017, it was more than clear that the availability of water from the Narmada dam would be 5.3 million acre feet (MAF) as against the actual allocation of 9 MAF to Gujarat. As time passed, we found that the availability would be progressively going down, and as of today, the estimate is down to 4.67 MAF, not enough to irrigate the state's agricultural fields."
Denying that industry is being supplied "more water" than what it is allowed at the cost of agriculture, as alleged by senior farmers' leader Sagar Rabari, the aide said, Gujarat's industry should be allocated 0.2 MAF water, but the water that would be supplied to it too would go down to 0.16 MAF. "We get daily figures and analyse them. There is no manipulation."
The aide, at the same time, admitted, that there is a "distinct possibility" that the Madhya Pradesh government, with an eye on elections, may have stored "as much Narmada water as possible in its dams", though claiming, "There is a limitation to the amount of water they can store. This monsoon, there hasn't been much rain in the Narmada catchment area, which mainly fall in Madhya Pradesh. There is little inflow now."
The aide said, "In fact, there appears to be little possibility of irrigating agricultural fields in Madhya Pradesh, too, by extracting water from the state's existing dams and sending them into the canals", though adding, "We have reports that, like we did at the Narmada dam, the dams in Madhya Pradesh also have built ground-level canals to extract water during drought-like situations, which they might use this summer to appease farmers."
Built in the year 2000, the two so-called two integrated by-pass tunnels (IPBTs) in the Narmada dam in Gujarat to draw dead waters from the dam’s reservoir during drought years had gone controversial after two neighbours, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, protested against the state’s "intention" to use the IPBTs, as they believed, their use would hit power being produced at the dam.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

Story of a foot soldier of Gujarat riots coming from a vulnerable community, Chharas

By Rajiv Shah
He is one of the more prominent "foot soldiers" of the 2002 Gujarat riots. Suresh Jadeja, alias Langdo, alias Richard, is indeed a well-known name in the Naroda Patiya massacre case, in which 97 persons were killed on February 28, 2002, the first day of the riots that shook the nation. Ordinarily, such a person should have been subjected to sociological scrutiny. What have here is a keen journalistic account, with clear political-ideological overtone.