Skip to main content

Kalpasar can't be implemented, is a non-starter: Gujarat BJP's "tallest" intellectual on ambitious Rs 55,000 cr project

Jay Narayan Vyas
By Our Representative
A senior Gujarat BJP leader, considered perhaps the only intellectual the state's saffron party can boast of -- one who has spoken out "competently" on developmental issues for its leaders, including Narendra Modi, on critical issues during debates at top English TV news channels -- is all set to stir up a hornet's nest. This leader has declared that the Kalpasar project, conceptualized in early 1960s by "creating" a huge sweet water lake by damming the Gulf of Khambhat, is "not feasible."
Jay Narayan Vyas, who has been the BJP's water resources minister, looking after top irrigation projects, including the Narmada project, has said that this project is not viable for more than one reason, including the quality and quantity of the run off water the proposed sweet water lake is to receive. Passionately taking part in a discussion on Facebook, Vyas, a former technocrat, says, evidence emerged with regard to lack of water from Narmada river, the main source for Kalpasar.
For the first time in history, the Narmada river, which is the main source for Kalpasar, has gone dry this year, Vyas says, insisting, surely, this is not going to be the last year. According to him, sea water has gushed 100 kilometres into the river, starting at Narmada's mouth in the Gulf of Khambhat. As a result of this, the problem of salinity ingress along the river is going to create a major havoc for the farmers.
Indicating that it is impossible to rely on any other source of water for Kalpasar, Vyas says, the Sabarmati river, which passes through Ahmedabad and reaches Gulf of Khambhat, about 100 km in the south, is itself dependent on Narmada water. Thus, he notes, sewage and chemically polluted water is released into Sabarmati in the downstream. At Vautha, as a result, what one sees is highly polluted black coloured water, a photograph of which has just been published in a newspaper.
Ironically, the Gujarat government estimates, Kalpasar, which is to cost Rs 55,000 crore, would get 1,515 million cubic metres (MCM) from Sabarmati, about one fifth of what it would get from Narmada, 6,404 MCM. Other rivers that would provide water to Kalpasar include 1901 MCM from Mahi, 486 MCM from Dhadhar, and 116 MCM from Saurashtra rivers. At 50% reliability, in all it comes to 10,414 MCM.
According to Vyas, facts suggest, "There are many ifs and buts in this project from run off estimation to environment and engineering. It is a non-starter and shall never be possible to implement it in the present form." And this is linked, he indicates, with the way water resources are managed.
Dr Anil Kane
Thus, he says, as of today, there is no money to preserve the present level of water resources. The irrigation department allocated just 15% for the maintenance of the canals. Of this, 10-12% goes into administrative expenditure. The result is, the canal network is managed most inefficiently. Importantly, Kalpasar is to get Narmada water via a canal, which would a link between Narmada river on the downstream and the Gulf of Khambhat.
Taking a dig at academic Dr Anil Kane, who is currently the most valiant defender of Kalpasar and considers himself the proponent of the project, Vyas says, "Politically, emotionally or fanatically obsessed with any idea is like writing a judgement before the case is heard. Kalpsar of Dr Kane is one such example. Aggressive marketing of the idea and endless exploitation by the powers that be from time to time has coloured this idea so much that it has lost its originality."

Comments

TRENDING

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.”

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.

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?

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.

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

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.

Fr Stan's arrest figures in UK Parliament: Govt says, Indian authorities were 'alerted'

London protest for release of Stan Swamy  By Rajiv Shah Will Father Stan Swamy’s arrest, especially the fact that he is a Christian and a priest, turn out to be major international embarrassment for the Government of India? It may well happen, if a recent debate on a resolution titled “India: Persecution of Minority Groups” in the United Kingdom (UK) Parliament is any indication. While Jesuits have protested Fr Stan's arrest in UK and US, the resolution, adopted in the Parliament, said, “This House has considered the matter of persecution of Muslims, Christians and minority groups in India”.

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).

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.