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

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.

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

Jharkhand Adivasi lynched to death by mob "chanting" Jai Shri Ram: Fact-finding team

Counterview Desk
On April 10, 2019, Prakash Lakda, a 50-year old Adivasi of Jurmu village of Gumla’s Dumri block, was lynched to death by a mob of men from the Sahu community of neighbouring Jairagi village. Three other victims from Jurmu – Peter Kerketta, Belarius Minj and Janerius Minj – sustained severe injuries due to the beating by the mob. A fact-finding team of Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM), comprising of several activists and representatives of member organisations, conducted a fact-finding inquiry into the incident on April 14-15.

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.

RTE in remote areas? Govt of India "plans" to close down 2.4 lakh schools

By Srijita Majumder*
The Right to Education (RTE) Act, 2009, came into effect on April 1, 2010, for the first time made it obligatory on the part of the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children from 6-14 years of age in India. The Act, despite its limitations, had progressive elements like neighbourhood schools, community participation, ban on corporal punishment, no detention, continuous and comprehensive evaluation and it hence it appeared that India was not far from achieving universal elementary education.