Skip to main content

Ahmedabad, GIFT, Adani city get 1.68 lakh acre ft Narmada water; Gujarat's rural areas just 4.27 AF: Letter to CM

Narmada waters in Sabarmati riverfront, Ahmedabad
Counterview Desk
Well-known farmer rights leader Sagar Rabari, in an open letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, has demanded a transparent account of Narmada water, saying, while he has received a "routine reply" from him to his earlier, the data emerging from his RTI application show huge quantity of water being directed to Ahmedabad, the 10 km stretch of Sabarmati for the Ahmedabad riverfront, and nearby elite urban areas, including the Adanis' Shantigram township and GIFT City.

Text of the letter:

In response to my earlier letter to you dated 28th October, 2018 I have received a routine reply that my letter has been forwarded to the Narmada and Kalpsar Department. However, the data emerging from the RTI application are truly shocking.
The reply of the Acting Engineer, Narmada Irrigation and Canal Dept. no. 2 Gandhinagar (no. ja.va.no. PB-3/RTI/Paani/1094, dated 30/4/2018) states that:
“In the 6.5 months between 1st July and 12th January 2018 a total of 101.81993 MCM (10,18,19,930 Cubic Meter) i.e. 12699.52055596923 acre feet (AF), i.e 12,700 acre feet water was released into the Sabarmati river.” If we calculate this for 12 months then it comes to 23,446 acre feet of water released into the Sabarmati river.
In addition, the reply states, Ahmedabad city gets “330 ML from Narmada main canal through gravity and 275 ML from Dholka branch canal daily”. This comes to 605 ML daily which is 391 AF. This amounts to 1,42,715 AF annually taken for Ahmedabad city from the Narmada canal.
Thus, Ahmedabad city and Sabarmati river itself take away 1,68,233 AF water directly from the Narmada water and canal.
GIFT City
GIFT City receives 4 ML daily, 1460 ML annually i.e. 146,00,00,000 litres comes to 1184 AF of water from the Narmada canal and river.
Shantigram Township, at the outskirts of Ahmedabad city, receives 3 ML of water daily, which amounts to 1095 ML annually, i.e. 1,09,50,00,000 litres, which is 888 AF water annually.
Similarly, the response from Gujarat Water Infrastructure Ltd (dated 10/5/2018, No GWIL/RTI/no.225/761/2018) reveals: “(We have) lifted a total of 561079.99 ML water between 01/04/2017 and 31/03/2018.” This amounts to 5,61,07,99,90,000 litres of water from different branch canals of Narmada canal. Annually this comes to 4,54,874.9441 AF water!
The cumulative total is:
Sabarmati river 23,446 AF
Ahmedabad city 1,42,71 AF
GIFT City 1,184 AF
Shantigram 888 AF
GWIL 4,54,875 AF
Total 6,23,108 AF
In simple language, this means that:
  • Sabarmati river, Ahmedabad city, GIFT city and Shantigram Township alone use up 1,68,233 AF water each year;
  • While the villages, taluka and district headquarters of North Gujarat, Saurashtra, and Kutch get only 4,27,011 AF water over the entire year.
Adanis' Shantigram township
Of the water lifted by GWIL, the distribution by districts to industries daily is as under: (figures in MLD):
Jamnagar/Devbhoomi Dwarka 37.184
Kutch 31.065
Bhavnagar 17.588
Amreli 3.686
Rajkot/Morbi 1.340
Junagadh/Gir Somnath 2.924
Ahmedabad/Botad 0.411
Total 94.162
This comes to 34369.13 ML annually (34369130000 litres) i.e. 27863.5067 AF water annually.
In the same vein, SSNNL directly provided 53.22 MLD water to industries in 2016-17 (19425.3 ML). The volume in AF is 15,784.3467 annually.
As per the data provided by SSNNL:

We have the accounts of water in AF. Out of the 5.08 MAF of water which is Gujarat’s share, what happened to the 50,80,000 AF of water? What did the SSNNL do with it? We, the farmers, demand the account of the missing 44,41,144 AF of water from the dam which was built in our name and for us.
The picture of water usage does not emerge clearly from the figures of RTI response. We demand answers to the following questions from you:
  1. Was the Narmada dam built to provide greenery and lawns and golf courses to GIFT City and Shantigram or was it to water the farmers’ fields?
  2. We demand to know why the 4 big irrigation schemes of GoG have utterly failed. Put another way, Narmada dam has so far only provided irrigation to 6,28,011 ha. The talukas under dark zone increased just as the Sujlam Suflam scheme was announced. Kalpsar, which is invoked at every election but has seen no progress. And finally, SAUNI yojana where cricket matches are played in the dam.
  3. If, as per the NCA website there was 2628 MCM water (21,30,554.24AF) in the dam on 04/10/2018, then why is water not being provided to farmers reeling under drought?
  4. As per the figures of the dam (04/10/2018) even if we keep 10,00,000 AF water in reserve for drinking water and industrial uses, why is the rest of the 11,30,554.24 AF water not being provided to the farmers? Is the water being kept in reserve to showcase it to the industrialists due to visit Gujarat during the VGGIS 2019?
  5. There has been scant rainfall and there is no possibility of more, and drought is certainly there. Yet, your government is lackadaisical in declaring areas as “drought-affected”. Why? Is it to facilitate insurance companies to get away without paying the insurance claims which would then become due to the farmers? Are we wrong to suspect that you are sacrificing farmers and their livelihoods to help insurance companies?
Moreover,
  1. We demand monthly figures pertaining to total water released into the main canal each month, and how much water from that was given to GWIL?
  2. We want to know how much water was released into Sabarmati river each month between 1st July 2017 and 30th June 2018?
  3. We want to know, of that water released into the Sabarmati river, how many industries took how much water each month?
  4. we want month-wise figures (between 1st July 2017 and 30th June 2018) of how many AF of water did SSNNL provide directly to Ahmedabad city, from which canals.
  5. We want to know how many acres/hectares per month were irrigated between 1st July 2017 and 30th June 2018.
  6. We want to know which cities and industries received water directly from SSNNL and/or GWIL and how much (in AF).
We wish to go to every village and every district with the answers that you provide. We want to inform the farmers of the exact account of the Narmada water and so it is essential that we receive truthful and official answers to our questions from you. Account of the Narmada water and the enigmatic silence of GoG on the Kalpsar project will become important issues in the forthcoming elections. For that reason we insist that we get truthful an official figures from your end.

Comments

TRENDING

Girl child education: 20 major states 'score' better than Gujarat, says GoI report

By Rajiv Shah
A Government of India report, released last month, has suggested that “model” Gujarat has failed to make any progress vis-à-vis other states in ensuring that girls continue to remain enrolled after they leave primary schools. The report finds that, in the age group 14-17, Gujarat’s 71% girls are enrolled at the secondary and higher secondary level, which is worse than 20 out of 22 major states for which data have been made available.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three 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.

Hindutva founders, not Congress, were actual 'proponents' of two-nation theory

By Shamsul Islam*
No other organization, in the present world, can beat Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in double-speak. In fact, what George Orwell termed as "doublespeak" would be an understatement in the case of RSS. The latest proof of this nasty case was provided by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, de facto Prime Minister and senior RSS leader in the Lok Sabha (akin to the House of Commons in England) on December 9, 2019.

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Ships recycling Bill 'allows' India to be turned into a landfill for foreign hazardous waste

Counterview Desk
In a letter to M Venkaiah Naidu, chairman, Rajya Sabha, senior activist Gopal Krishna of the Toxics Watch Alliance has said that the Recycling of Ships Bill, 2019 should be referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment, Forests and Climate Change to "safeguard country’s maritime environment from harmful and hazardous wastes and materials".

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Post-Balakot, danger that events might spiral out of control is 'greater, not less'

By Tapan Bose*
The fear of war in South Asia is increasing. Tensions are escalating between India and Pakistan after the Indian defence minister's announcement in August this year that India may revoke its current commitment to only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack, known as ‘no first use’. According to some experts who are watching the situation the risk of a conflict between the two countries has never been greater since they both tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

80 RTI activists killed since 2014, yet Modi govt 'refuses' to implement whistleblowers Act

By Our Representative
Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took over power in 2014 at the Centre, more than 80 have been killed “in their quest for information and accountability” through the Right to Information (RTI) Act, a public hearing in Delhi has been told. Senior politicians from opposition parties, including Congress and Left, heard people express their anguish over the manner in which the government was treating the RTI Act, even as refusing to operationalise the Whistleblower Protection Act, passed in 2014.