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

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

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.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Recalling Jallianwala martyrs' communal amity as BJP 'warns' of Sitalkuchi everywhere

By Shamsul Islam*  The RSS-BJP rulers declare India to be a battle-ground between Hinduism and Islam. Muslims have been declared as ‘internal threat’ by RSS ideologue MS Golwalkar (“Bunch of Thought”, Chapter xvi). Behaviour of many of their leading cadres, including those who hold high constitutional posts, is such that they seem to be conspiring over-time to ignite a civil war between the two communities. They are under the impression that this would help divert attention from failures of the Hindutva rulers on developmental front.